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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Indoctrination Day

The other day in my e-mail at work, I found the following message, forwarded by my dean from the vice-president's office:
Pursuant to legislation passed in 2005, any educational institution receiving Federal funds is required to provide educational programs pertaining to the United States Constitution on September 17th each year.  This year Constitution Day falls on a Tuesday.    By way of this email, I am asking you to follow-up with your areas to see how faculty and staff can incorporate this observance into their classes or student programs.  Afterwards, we will need to collect information about the different activities and have this documentation available in case of an audit. . . .  . I look forward to hearing the creative ways we can help students learn more about our Constitution and government.  
Please keep this in mind as you prepare your classes.
My first reaction: "Are. You. Kidding. Me?"--except for "kidding," substitute a scatological verb modified by a vulgar sexual adverb--to which the dean replied, "Expected response. Please direct your inquiries to the vice-president's office."

Don't get me wrong: I am a huge fan of 18th-century governmental charters.  And as these things go, the United States Constitution is quite the page-turner, especially compared with such snoozefests as the Swiss Regulations for the Sovereign Council (1790).  But is there not something ironic in this governmental diktat requiring the teaching of the Constitution on September 17?  Suggested slogan: "Celebrate Our Right to Freedom of Speech by Surrendering Your Own!"

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