Lawmakers in the state of South Caroline are closing on a bill that would require all public college and university students in the state to study America’s founding documents, according to The Blaze.
Senate Bill 38, the “Reinforcing College Education on America’s Constitutional Heritage Act”, or REACH Act, was initially introduced by Sen. Larry Grooms in order to reform state education law.
Grooms’ bill would update and modernize existing state law that requires institutions of higher learning to teach a yearlong course on America’s founding documents, a law that the bill’s supporters say is largely not enforced.
The REACH Act would shorten the course requirement from one year to three credit hours, remove the “loyalty” provision — which is problematic for foreign students — and empower the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education to enforce the law.
State Rep. Michael Rivers said, “We talk about America being built on God … but until there’s repentance there’s no forgiveness of sins. And we can write the Federalist Papers, we can write whatever we want. But until there’s some acknowledgement about the sins of the past we are just whistlin’ Dixie.”
“This stuff in S. 38, what it’s saying, is that we want to indoctrinate college students on their dime to what we think is important,” Rivers said. “It’s just blowing smoke.”
State Rep. Garry Smith, the REACH Act’s chief sponsor said, “An idea of liberty for all, that whole idea in the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, those things are found in the Constitution.”
“It flows, it goes together, it was meant to do that.”
“And when we’re looking at education in the United States and in South Carolina, we’re looking at education to build good citizens who can function in our representative republic.”
“We’re in such danger right now of losing these ideas because you’ve got a Congress and an administration in Washington, D.C., that is looking to take those rights that under the Constitution were reserved for the states and for the people and make them federal rights. That’s completely contrary to what’s intended,” Smith said.
“When you have citizens that don’t understand that liberty for all — and they’re thinking about equity instead of equality, and dividing us instead of uniting us, then we’ve got a real problem,” he added.
More from The Blaze:
Rivers suggested that requiring students to read the Constitution, the Emancipation Proclamation, and other documents could perpetuate “falsehoods” about American history that could lead to “1861 again in South Carolina.”
By reading America’s founding documents, he explained, students will be taught the ideas and principles that animate American government, ideas like federalism — how state governments have some powers under the Constitution that the national government must not infringe upon.