59°
Forecast | Radar

Activate Account | Manage Account | Logout | Today's Paper
Today's Paper, also known as the e-Edition, is an online replica of the printed newspaper. You can view today's paper or previous issues.

Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.

FOR THE WEEK OF SEP. 18, 2006

Constitution Day celebrates enduring American principles

frontpageactionpoints.gif
1.gif
News coverage of police, privacy. elections, church-state issues, legal cases, government power and terrorism detainees can involve constitutional issues, though they’re not always presented that way. Ask students to find at least one recent article touching on a principle in the Constitution or one of its amendments.
2.gif
Freedom of the press is guaranteed in Article 1 of the Bill of Rights, part of the Constitution. Invite class members to discuss how newspapers use that protection in ways that some countries prohibit.
3.gif
Constitutional scholars and others admire how flexible and adaptable the 219-year-old document is. Challenge students to show how it applies to situations beyond the founders' imaginations -- such as blogs, electronic eavesdropping and e-mail. Solicit comments about why a document written with quill pens remains useful in the Internet age.

Schools begin this week by marking Constitution Day, a way for students in all grades around the nation to recognize how a document signed on Sept. 17, 1787 in Philadelphia remains essential and relevant to everyday life. President George W. Bush in 2004 signed a Constitution Day celebration bill into law, requiring annual mid-September educational programs in public and private schools as part of the observance.

Books and teachers tell about constitutional rights and their roots, but we needn’t just look back. We can see constitutional issues discussed in today’s newspaper or yesterday’s or tomorrow’s. The original U.S. Constitution sits under glass at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., but it’s far from a historic relic.

Bedrock principles written into the document and its 27 amendments apply to everyone in America and define the rights of voters, worshipers from any religion, people who don’t believe in religion, protesters, people who say or write unpopular things, accused lawbreakers, prison inmates and people who publish this newspaper.

How are students affected? Though boards of education generally have authority to govern school-related activities and behavior, constitutional issues arise in some disputes involving free speech, student journalists and disciplinary proceedings.

Current constitutional issues: Can “enemy combatants” be detained indefinitely without hearings? Should they be prosecuted by military tribunals instead of open courts? Can a president authorize secret phone taps or restrict civil liberties for reasons of national security? Should a new amendment protect the U.S. flag from desecration?

Senator says: “"One will not protect what one does not value. And one cannot value what one does not understand.".” – Sen. Robert Byrd, D-West Virginia, explaining why he introduced Constitution Day bill.

Front Page Talking Points is written by Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2016
We welcome comments or suggestions for future topics: Click here to Comment

Front Page Talking Points Archive

Hillary Clinton and Sen. Tim Kaine, her ticket mate, are in Democratic convention spotlight this week

Republican convention makes Donald Trump’s presidential nomination official this week

‘Mega-ships’ can use Panama Canal now, a big time-saver for U.S.-Asia trade

British exit: Voters favor quitting the European Union, an economic-political coalition formed 24 years ago

‘Net neutrality’ court decision bars ‘fast lanes’ and ‘slow lanes’ for different web content

Breakthrough: Hillary Clinton will be the first female major party nominee for U.S. president

Muhammad Ali, mourned with sweeping tributes, was much more than a boxing champ

Cheaters: Doping crackdown may keep Russian athletes, others out of Olympics

President’s week in Asia includes visit to Hiroshima, where atomic warfare began 70 years ago

Bathroom choice becomes a focal point for transgender rights backers and opponents

Complete archive