UPDATE: House Bill 1143 is set to be heard in the Senate. Education Committee. 

House Bill 1143 is related to freedom of speech and government overreach in public schools.

The bill, if passed, would require elementary students to complete a “patriotism project” as part of their curriculum. 

We oppose this bill for several reasons:

  • First, we don’t support using public money to push a particular position on students. This is akin to forcing students to stand during the pledge of allegiance. Public schools should not be forcing students to be “patriotic,” whatever that means, to continue on in school.
  • Second, this smacks of Orwellian government overreach. As a state that claims to be small c conservative, this is the epitome of hypocrisy. Requiring students to blinding support the government is wrong.
  • Finally, the definition of “patriotism” lends itself to multiple interpretations, so this bill would be impossible to implement from a practical perspective. For example, if a student thinks it is patriotic to complete a project that questions the conduct of the government in the past, who is to say that student is wrong? 

Ultimately, public education should be separate from any government intrusion or requirement of fealty to the sovereign. We urge a do not pass on House Bill 1143. 

Sponsors

Rep. D. Johnson, Schatz, Schauer, Strinden

Authors

Sen. Dever, Schaible

Status

Passed one chamber

Session

2021

Bill number

Position

Oppose