State’s first-ever Freedom Week underway in classrooms
By Hans Fogle, WV MetroNews
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Students in Berkeley County and across the state will focus on the Constitution and government for the state’s new Celebrate Freedom Week.
Middle School Instructional Specialist Carol Hamilton said individual schools will be teaching students at each grade level about how the government works and the defining characteristics of the U.S. Constitution.
She said it’s important for young people to learn about the subject.
“It’s a good idea for those students to have a more in depth, especially at the high school level, look at our Constitution and what it means,” she said.
The law establishing Freedom Week came from a bill (HB 3080) sponsored earlier this year by House of Delegates Speaker Tim Armstead. It’s goal is to “educate students about the sacrifices made for freedom in the founding of this country and the values on which this country was founded.”
Hamilton said many students will be able to vote for the first time next year and she hopes to use Freedom Week to help them understand why it is such an important right.
Hamilton said the Berkeley County School system has always had an emphasis on the Constitution, but the new law has increased what they do in the classroom.
“There is a requirement of three hours of instruction based on the Constitution,” she said.
The law will expand next year to include instruction on what it means to be a citizen as well.
“They’re going to be looking at requiring a citizenship test for our high school students.”
Hamilton said it’s fitting that their weeklong celebration of freedom starts with Patriot Day, the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and ends with an observance of Constitution Day which is this Friday.
She said many students are getting their first in depth exposure to the constitution this week.
Hamilton said even kindergarten and elementary school students are learning about national symbols and patriotism.