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First Substitute H.B. 79

Representative Richard M. Siddoway proposes the following substitute bill:





Sponsor: Richard M. Siddoway

             6      This act modifies provisions relating to the State System of Public Education by requiring
             7      the display of "In God we trust," the motto of the United States, in one or more prominent
             8      places within each school building.
             9      This act affects sections of Utah Code Annotated 1953 as follows:
             10      AMENDS:
             11          53A-13-101.4, as enacted by Chapter 5, Laws of Utah 1996
             12      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             13          Section 1. Section 53A-13-101.4 is amended to read:
             14           53A-13-101.4. Study and posting of American heritage documents.
             15          (1) The Legislature recognizes that a proper understanding of American history and
             16      government is essential to good citizenship, and that the public schools are the primary public
             17      institutions charged with responsibility for assisting children and youth in gaining that
             18      understanding.
             19          (2) (a) The State Board of Education and local school boards shall periodically review
             20      school curricula and activities to ensure that effective instruction in American history and
             21      government is taking place in the public schools.
             22          (b) The boards shall solicit public input as part of the review process.
             23          (3) School curricula and activities shall include the appropriate study of historical
             24      documents such as:
             25          (a) the Declaration of Independence;

             26          (b) the United States Constitution;
             27          (c) the national motto;
             28          (d) the pledge of allegiance;
             29          (e) the national anthem;
             30          (f) the Mayflower Compact;
             31          (g) the writings, speeches, documents, and proclamations of the Founders and the
             32      Presidents of the United States;
             33          (h) organic documents from the pre-Colonial, Colonial, Revolutionary, Federalist, and post
             34      Federalist eras;
             35          (i) United States Supreme Court decisions;
             36          (j) Acts of the United States Congress, including the published text of the Congressional
             37      Record; and
             38          (k) United States treaties.
             39          (4) To increase student understanding of, and familiarity with, American historical
             40      documents, public schools may display historically important excerpts from, or copies of, those
             41      documents in school classrooms and common areas as appropriate.
             42          (5) There shall be no content-based censorship of American history and heritage
             43      documents referred to in this section due to their religious [and/or] or cultural nature.
             44          (6) Public schools shall display "In God we trust," which is declared in 36 U.S.C. 302 to
             45      be the national motto of the United States, in one or more prominent places within each school
             46      building.

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