CITIZENSHIP AND CHARACTER EDUCATION Policy Code: 3530
The board encourages all students to develop an understanding of citizenship, including the importance of a citizen’s rights and responsibilities. At a minimum, the citizenship curriculum will incorporate the civic literary requirements of the Basic Education Plan and any statutory requirements regarding the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance and the display of flags. In addition, within the timeframe established by state requirements, the high school curriculum will meet all state standards for teaching individual responsibility and other historical founding principles of our nation.
BOARD CITIZENSHIP REQUIREMENTS AND OPTIONS
The curriculum committee established in policy 3100, Curriculum Development, shall develop the curriculum regarding citizenship. In addition to meeting any state requirements, the citizenship curriculum also should be designed to reinforce the student behavior management plan. The curriculum shall include addressing character traits as provided in the Basic Education Plan. The character traits should include, but are not limited to, courage, good judgment, integrity, civility, kindness, perseverance, responsibility, tolerance, self-discipline, respect for school personnel, responsibility for school safety, service to others and good citizenship.
The citizenship curriculum must require that: (1) the United States and North Carolina flags be displayed in each classroom, when available; (2) recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance be scheduled on a daily basis; (3) appropriate instruction be provided on the meaning and historical origins of the North Carolina and United States flags and the Pledge of Allegiance; (4) Constitution and Citizenship Day be observed on September 17 to commemorate the signing of the United States Constitution or be observed the preceding or following week if students are not in school on September 17; and (5) appropriate instruction and/or recognition be provided concerning the significance of Memorial Day.
The citizenship curriculum also may include appropriate instruction on the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and guidelines for the use and display of the North Carolina and United States flags. The curriculum must ensure that no student will be compelled to salute the flag, recite the Pledge of Allegiance, stand to acknowledge the flag or stand to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance, or otherwise feel coerced to participate. In addition, the citizenship curriculum may encourage teachers to use the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance as an opportunity to teach students about the history concerning coercion and the importance of the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights. Any flags donated or otherwise made available must be displayed in the classrooms.
Furthermore, the citizenship curriculum may include for middle school and high school students a community volunteer service requirement in order to demonstrate the value and effectiveness of volunteer contributions to the community. To be approved by the board, the curriculum (1) must provide students with sufficient notice of the service requirement; (2) must provide students with enough options to meet the interests and transportation needs of the students; and (3) must not infringe on the constitutional rights of students by compelling or coercing a student to hold a particular viewpoint on volunteerism.
Legal References: 36 U.S.C. 106(d); G.S. 115C-12(33), -47(29a), -81(g), (h), (h1); N.C. Session Law 2011-273
Adopted: December 5, 2011