Constitution Day: An Opportunity to Educate

September 17 is Constitution Day.  Under Constitution Day's authorizing statute, schools receiving federal funds are required to hold a program each year educating their students about the Constitution on the anniversary of its adoption.  According to Senator Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), sponsor of the authorizing statute:

"Without constant study and renewal of our knowledge of the Constitution and its history we are in peril of allowing our freedoms to erode. If we fail to understand the importance of the checks and balances between Congress, the Supreme Court, and the Executive Branch, we will not be in a position to know when these checks are threatened."

In honor of Constitution Day, The American Constitution Society (ACS) is pleased to sponsor its Constitution in the Classroom project, bringing ACS members into primary, secondary and undergraduate classrooms to raise awareness of fundamental constitutional principles.  This year, ACS released a new lesson for the project, celebrating the 40th anniversary of In Re Gault, the seminal Supreme Court decision recognizing the right of juveniles to the protections of the Fifth and Sixth Amendments.

Lawyers, law students, and educators have a vital resource they can share with students -- knowledge of the Constitution. By spending one day teaching in an undergraduate, high school or middle school classroom, each of us can help educate young minds about their constitutional rights and responsibilities.