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September 16, 2010: Are the principles of the U.S. Constitution reflected in your school?

The U.S. Constitution is more than the blueprint for our system of government. It embodies a set of principles we live by and represents who we are as a people. The challenge the Framers of the Constitution faced was to create a government strong enough to insure peace and order, but not so strong that it threatened individual rights. To ensure this balance is maintained, the principles outlined in the Constitution, such as the separation of powers and a system of checks and balances, allow for the creation, enforcement, and review of laws.

In order to create a safe and successful learning environment for students, our school systems have constructed their own sets of rules and regulations. Those rules attempt to strike the same balance the Framers did, between order and liberty. Considering that many schools draft their own constitutions and create student councils and government systems, do these models include the constitutional principles that the Founders considered absolutely necessary in order to maintain a democracy? What governing models do administrators look to when drafting their school policies? What are some of the ways students are able to make their voices heard? How do the rights of students in a school system differ from our individual rights as U.S. citizens?

Are we able to see the principles of the Constitution in our school systems, and is there a need to incorporate more of these principles?