Students Try To Get Courts To Declare Learning Civics As A Constitutional Right

Students from Rhode Island have asked a federal appeals court to reverse a lower court’s dismissal of their case, to declare a constitutional right to be taught civics, and send the case back to district court.

Their attorneys argue that students need to know how to participate in the political process, exercise their constitutional rights, and learn skills like media literacy to be able to tell real from false information. Defendants in the case include the governor, education commissioner and other education officials, whose attorney argued in a brief for the court that legal precedent has established there’s no fundamental constitutional right to education.

However, Governor Daniel McKee signed legislation in July requiring public school students to demonstrate proficiency in civics education and do at least one civics project.

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