Last year for Constitution Day we wrote a post called What is your child’s school doing to observe Constitution Day? I would recommend that post as it contains a great deal of information and links to materials to help remind people, especially school children, of how unique and wondrous a document The United States Constitution is. We also noted in the post several points of law about how Massachusetts is to mark Constitution Day:
In Massachusetts the law requires “In all public elementary and high schools American history and civics, including the constitution of the United States, the declaration of independence and the bill of rights…shall be taught as required subjects for the purpose of promoting civic service and a greater knowledge thereof, and of fitting the pupils, morally and intellectually, for the duties of citizenship.” (ALM GL ch. 71, §2
The requirement for the Governor of Massachusetts to proclaim Constitution Day (ALM GL ch. 6, §15A
). Governor Patrick has proclaimed Constitution Day in two of his seven [eight] years in office (in 2011 and 2012). Section 15A. The governor shall annually issue a proclamation setting apart the seventeenth day of September as Constitution Day and recommending that it be observed by the people with appropriate exercises in the schools…”
I decided to inquire if Governor Charlie Baker would issue such a proclamation. Well, ask and ye shall receive!! With the assistance of the Governor’s Constituent Services, I suggested some text, and then the Governor came up with his own. At some point it will be linked on the Issued Proclamations page.
UPDATE: The Issued Proclamations page was updated – here is the link to the Constitution Day Proclamation.
To follow up, I am asking the Governor’s office to see if there are any plans to recommend classroom instruction on the Constitution (either by the Governor, or by Secretary of Education, Jim Peyser).
Whether or not some formal edict is sent out, it still would be worth your while to ask your schools, and your children’s school teachers, if they have any plans to teach the Constitution. Again, there are materials aplenty listed in post What is your child’s school doing to observe Constitution Day?
And since I was the one to request the proclamation, I am the (proud) recipient of the document. Below is a picture of the document, followed by the text of the proclamation. Enjoy!
Whereas Our Founding Fathers, in order to secure the blessings of liberty did ordain
and adopt a Constitution for the United States of America on September 17, 1787
establishing the world’s first government of the people, by the people, and for
the people; and
Whereas The United States Constitution is the oldest national constitution
in the world still in continuous use; and
Whereas The Constitution has server as a model for the constitutions of many nations,
including Germany, Japan, India, and South America, and international written agreements such as
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and
Whereas These hallowed words should be embraced by all citizens, so as to fully
understand the value and importance of the Constitution and in order to support,
preserve and defend it against encroachment; and
Whereas September 17, 2015 marks the two hundred and twenty-eighth anniversary
of the signing of the United States Constitution, providing a historic opportunity for all
Americans to remember the achievements of our Founding Fathers and to reflect
on the rights and privileges of citizenship, as well as its responsibilities,
Now, Therefore, I, Charles D. Baker, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,
do hereby proclaim September 17th, 2015, to be,
And urge all the citizens of the Commonwealth to take
cognizance of this event and participate fittingly in its observance.
Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston, this Eighteenth Day of August, in the year two thousand and fifteen, and of the
Independence of the United States of America, the two hundred and thirty-ninth.