Policy 8241

Patriotism, Citizenship and Human Rights Education

In order to promote a spirit of patriotic and civil service and obligation, as well as to foster in students of the District moral and intellectual qualities which are essential in preparing them to meet the obligations of citizenship, the Board requires students attending District schools, over the age of eight (8) years, to attend instructional courses in patriotism, citizenship, and human rights issues, with particular attention to the study of the inhumanity of genocide, slavery (including the freedom trail and underground railroad), the Holocaust, and the mass starvation in Ireland from 1845 to 1850.

The Board also directs that all students attending District schools in grades 8 through 12 receive instruction in the history, meaning, significance and effect of the United States Constitution, the New York State Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence.

The curricula for such courses must include the subjects specified by the Board of Regents and be for the period of instruction, as mandated by the Regents, which is necessary in these subjects in each of the appropriate grades.

One (1) week during each school year a uniform course of exercises shall be provided to teach students, in an age appropriate manner, the purpose, meaning and importance of the Bill of Rights Articles in the United States and New York State Constitutions. These exercises shall be in addition to the above required courses.

In addition, each School District that receives Federal Funds for a fiscal year shall hold an educational program on the United States Constitution on September 17th of each year for the students in the District to commemorate the September 17, 1787 signing of the Constitution, known as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day. However, when September 17 falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, this day shall be held during the preceding or following week.

The Board directs that the above named subjects, as mandated by law, be addressed in the instructional curricula provided by the District.