Dear Friend,

You may not be aware that in the 2011 Legislative Session of the North Carolina General Assembly, House Bill 588 known as The Founding Principles Act. was passed into law. This law requires that high schools teach a semester course “American History I – The Founding Principles.” To include at least the following: a. The Creator-endowed inalienable rights of the people. b. Structure of government, separation of powers with checks and balances. c. Frequent and free elections in a representative government. d. Rule of law. e. Equal justice under the law. f. Private property rights. g. Federalism. h. Due process. i. Individual rights as set forth in the Bill of Rights. j. Individual responsibility.

A passing grade in the course shall be required for graduation from high school.

The Law further states that: Local boards of education shall allow and may encourage any public school teacher or administrator to read or post in a public school building, classroom, or event, excerpts or portions of writings, documents, and records that reflect the history of the United States, including, but not limited to, (i) the preamble to the North Carolina Constitution, (ii) the Declaration of Independence, (iii) the United States Constitution, (iv) the Mayflower Compact, (v) the national motto, (vi) the National Anthem, (vii) the Pledge of Allegiance, (viii) the writings, speeches, documents, and proclamations of the founding fathers and Presidents of the United States, (ix) decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States, and (x) acts of the Congress of the United States, including the published text of the Congressional Record. Local boards, superintendents, principals, and supervisors shall not allow content-based censorship of American history in the public schools of this State, including religious references in these writings, documents, and records.

Furthermore: A local school administrative unit may display on real property controlled by that local school administrative unit documents and objects of historical significance that have formed and influenced the United States legal or governmental system and that exemplify the development of the rule of law, such as the Magna Carta, the Mecklenburg Declaration, the Ten Commandments, the Justinian Code, and documents set out in subdivision (3a) of this subsection. This display may include, but shall not be limited to, documents that contain words associated with a religion; provided however, no display shall seek to establish or promote religion or to persuade any person to embrace a particular religion, denomination of a religion, or other philosophy. The display of a document containing words associated with a religion shall be in the same manner and appearance generally as other documents and objects displayed and shall not be presented or displayed in any fashion that results in calling attention to it apart from the other displayed documents and objects. The display also shall be accompanied by a prominent sign quoting the First Amendment of the United States Constitution as follows: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

The State Board of Education shall require that any high school level curriculum-based tests developed and administered statewide beginning with the 2014-2015 academic year include questions related to the philosophical foundations of our form of government and the principles underlying the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution and its amendments, and the most important of the Federalist Papers.

This is a Great Victory and a huge step toward returning the morals, values and principles exhibited by our founding fathers and revealed in the historical documents identified above. For many years children were educated and taught these principles and our country grew to be the leader of the Free World by practicing the values and living by a moral code taught them by the best educators in the world. Then, political correctness reared its ugly head and stripped our educators of the freedom to teach by these long established standards for fear of offending those who did not subscribe to our historical values, traditions and practices. The effects of these actions are evident and easily documented.

June 25, 1962 – Engle vs. Vitale – This was the first time there was a separation of religious principles from public education. The courts rules that there should not be prayers in school. It was the first time we had a separation of church and state.

SAT scores approximate average was 970 points from 1952 to 1963. From 1963 to 1980 scores declined for eighteen consecutive years to drop to a low average of 890 points in 1980.

Reference: America’s Godly Heritage by David Barton Revised & Condensed by Annette Nay, Ph.D.

The restoration of these principles in our education system is key to the restoration of our nation. That is why I have started Friends of 588 and I invite you to join us in making sure that these important historical documents are made available to our schools and that funding issues will not be an excuse for failure to execute and comply with this law. We will be meeting with school boards and principles to determine need and establish plans to provide documents and displays as soon as possible. We will need volunteers from around the state to help us in this effort. We will solicit donations for the provision of these documents and displays and cost associated with this effort.  Our legislators have given us a wonderful gift and opportunity; let us not fail to do our part to insure its successful implementation.

If you want to support this effort in any way, please email overscore with Friend of 588 as the subject. Additional information will be provided at www.friendsof588.org as it becomes available.

Thank You for your support,

Rick Hopkins Founder: Friends of 588

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