Policy ECG - Curriculum: American Heritage
Issue Date: February 19, 2020
Updated: January 18, 2023
American Heritage in the Curriculum
Classes, including American History, in which the subject matter is relevant, shall include thorough study of the:
- Declaration of Independence;
- United States Constitution;
- National Motto;
- Pledge of Allegiance;
- National Anthem;
- Mayflower Compact;
- writings, speeches, documents, and proclamations of the Founders and the Presidents of the United States;
- organic documents from the pre-Colonial, Colonial, Revolutionary, Federalist and post Federalist eras;
- United States Supreme Court decisions; and,
- Acts of the United States Congress, including the published text of the Congressional Record; and,
- United States treaties.
Instruction in American history and government shall include study of forms of government (such as a republic, a pure democracy, a monarchy, and an oligarchy), political philosophies (such as socialism, individualism, and free market capitalism), the United States’ form of government (a compound constitutional republic), and the flag of the United States and the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
Civics Graduation Requirement
Each student must pass a basic civics test as a condition for graduation from high school unless the student qualifies for an alternate assessment. A “basic civics test” means a test that includes 50 of the questions on the civics test form used by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. A passing score is at least 35 out of 50 questions answered correctly. The student may take the test as many times as needed to pass the test.
A student qualifies to take an alternate assessment if the student is within six months of graduation or if the student has a disability and the alternate assessment is consistent with the student’s IEP.
The alternate assessment shall be given in the same manner as the examination given to an unnaturalized citizen and according to 8 CFR § 312.2. (However, the District may modify the manner of administration for a student with a disability in accordance with the student’s IEP.)
Posting American Heritage Documents
Schools may post copies of American historical documents or historically important excerpts from these documents in school classrooms and common areas as appropriate. If a school decides to post an excerpt from a particular document, the portions omitted should not be deleted for the purpose of censoring religious or cultural content.
Display of the National Motto
The national motto of the United States, which is declared by federal statute (36 U.S.C. § 302) to be “In God we Trust,” shall be displayed in one or more prominent places within each school building in the District, as provided for in Utah Code § 53G-10-302.
Pledge of Allegiance
The pledge of allegiance to the flag shall be recited once at the beginning of each day in each public school classroom in the state and, led by a student in the classroom, as assigned by the classroom teacher on a rotating basis.
Each student shall be informed by posting a notice in a conspicuous place that the student has the right not to participate in reciting the pledge.
A student shall be excused from reciting the pledge upon written request from the student's parent provided at least once per year.
At least once a year, students shall be instructed that participation in the pledge of allegiance is voluntary and not compulsory; and not only is it acceptable for someone to choose not to participate in the pledge of allegiance for religious or other reasons, but students should show respect for any student who chooses not to participate.
A public school teacher shall strive to maintain an atmosphere among students in the classroom that is consistent with the principles described above.
Parental Notice and Information
The District shall make information available on its website about the flag, respect for the flag and civility toward all during patriotic activities. This information shall include notice about lawful exemptions to the requirement for students to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance, the right of students not to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance, that participation in the pledge of allegiance is voluntary and not compulsory, and not only is it acceptable for someone to choose not to participate in the pledge of allegiance for religious or other reasons, but students should show respect for any student who chooses not to participate. It shall also notify parents that a student may be excused from reciting the Pledge of Allegiance upon a written annual request of the student’s parent.