IHAK - Citizenship Education

Emery County School District

Policy: IHAK—Citizenship Education

Date Adopted: 31 July 1991

Current Review / Revision: 3 February 1999

The Board of Education believes that quality education is the first order of business in the Emery District and that quality education results from adherence to principles, objectives, and expectations. The primary goal of education is the development of individuals who possess the knowledge, skills, and human characteristics necessary to enable them to live meaningful lives and to be positive contributors to society.

The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled (Wisconsin vs. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205) that society has the right to compel children to attend school for two reasons:

  1. to prepare them to be good citizens; and

  2. to teach them to be self-reliant and self-sufficient.

The first of these reasons is evident. The relationship with the second has been made clear by research showing that people are rarely fired from their jobs because of lack of skills. Firing is almost always the result of poor citizenship as evidenced by unreliability, excessive absence from work, and failure to get along with other people.

Compulsory Education

Utah State law [Utah Code 53A-11-101(4)] also requires compulsory education for minors between six and 18 years of age:

  1. “A person having control of a minor between six and 18 years of age shall send the minor to a public or regularly established private school during the school year of the district in which the minor resides.

  2. It is a misdemeanor for a person having control of a minor under subsection (1) to willfully fail to comply with the requirements of this chapter.

  3. A local Board of Education shall report cases of willful noncompliance to the appropriate juvenile court.

  4. Officers of the Juvenile Court shall immediately take appropriate action.”

Citizenship Education

In requiring compulsory education, Utah law [Utah Code 53A-13-101(4)] also requires that careful attention be placed upon citizenship education:

“Honesty, temperance, morality, courtesy, obedience to law, respect for and an understanding of the constitutions of the United States and the State of Utah, the essentials and benefits of the free enterprise system, respect for parents and home, and the dignity and necessity of honest labor and other skills, habits, and qualities of character which will promote an upright and desirable citizenry and better prepare students for a richer, happier life shall be taught in connection with regular school work.”

To stress academic grades without placing at least equal emphasis upon citizenship performance fails to recognize one of the major purposes for public education. The laws of the State of Utah and the basis for public education as set by the Supreme Court of the United States determine the standard for citizenship education.

It is the policy of the Board that secondary schools in the district shall develop individual citizenship programs which are consistent with existing Board policies about student behavior, discipline, attendance, etc.

Individual school programs should include effective procedures for notification to parents, grievance procedures, and must be consistent with due process regulations. Policies should also include rewards for positive student behavior and provide opportunity for students to make up lost citizenship credit. Individual schools shall also clearly communicate school citizenship policies annually to parents and students.

Citizenship programs and policies developed by individual schools must have Board approval.