Petition in Support of Teaching the Pennsylvania Constitution

Each month, a copy of this petition and the names of all new signatories is to be sent to the Governor’s office, the Board of Education, and each of the 501 school districts in Pennsylvania until the goals of the petition are addressed and our civic future assured.

Petition in Support of Teaching the Pennsylvania Constitution to Our Children

Whereas the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is one of the fifty sovereign states which joined together to form the United States of America via the agreement known as the United States Constitution; and

Whereas Pennsylvania possesses its own fine constitution, written in significant part by William Penn and Benjamin Franklin; and

Whereas Article 3, Section 14 of the Pennsylvania Constitution states, “The General Assembly shall provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of public education to serve the needs of the Commonwealth;” and

Whereas the overwhelming majority of students emerging from Pennsylvania’s government educational system have never heard of, let alone read or been taught the contents and plain meaning of, the Pennsylvania Constitution; and

Whereas the Pennsylvania Constitution is not mentioned in the Master Plan for Basic Education published by the Pennsylvania Board of Education[1]; and

Whereas a search of the Pennsylvania Board of Education website[2] finds only one unused 17-year-old mention[3] of any curriculum regarding the Pennsylvania Constitution; and

Whereas none of the 501 school districts in Pennsylvania are known to provide any detailed study of the Pennsylvania Constitution; and

Whereas knowledge of the Pennsylvania Constitution and how it operates is crucial to maintaining a free and independent society; and

Whereas knowledge of the Pennsylvania Constitution and how it operates is crucial to making intelligent decisions at the ballot box and in the Legislature; and

Whereas time and time again the plain meaning of numerous provisions of the Pennsylvania Constitution is being ignored[5];

Therefore, we, the undersigned, call upon the Governor, the Pennsylvania Board of Education and each of the 501 school districts, cyber schools, and charter schools in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, to immediately investigate, institute, and implement a detailed curriculum regarding the Pennsylvania Constitution, its content, its history, and its plain meaning.

A copy of this petition and the names of all new signatories (without e-mails) will be sent to the Governor’s office, the Board of Education, and each of the 501 school districts in Pennsylvania until the goals of the petition are addressed and our civic future assured.

This petition is circulated courtesy of The Pennsylvania Project[4].

Footnotes: Petition in Support of Teaching the Pennsylvania Constitution to Our Children

[1] Master Plan for Basic Education:
https://www.stateboard.education.pa.gov/Documents/Research Reports and Studies/Master%20Plan%20for%20Basic%20Education.pdf
[2] Pennsylvania Board of Education
[3] Academic Standards for Civics and Government:
[4] The Pennsylvania Project
[5] Selected ignored provisions of the plain language of the Pennsylvania Constitution:
Article 1, Section 1: Inherent Rights of Mankind
All men are born equally free and independent, and have certain inherent and indefeasible rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of acquiring, possessing and protecting property and reputation, and of pursuing their own happiness.†
† Except for cannabis and other recreational drugs, gambling, sex workers, practicing law, etc.

Article 1, Section 2: Political Powers
All power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority and instituted for their peace, safety and happiness. For the advancement of these ends they have at all times an inalienable and indefeasible right to alter, reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may think proper.†
† Except for Initiative and Referendum

Article 1, Section 3: Religious Freedom
[N]o man can of right be compelled to attend, erect or support any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry against his consent; no human authority can, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience,.†
† Except for vaccinations, marrying same sex couples, or baking cakes for them.

Article 1, Section 5: Elections
Elections shall be free and equal.†
† Except for third party and independent candidates.

Article 1, Section 6: Trial by Jury
Trial by jury shall be as heretofore, and the right thereof remain inviolate.†
† Except for trial by jury, jury nullification, incredibly overpriced lawyers, incomprehensible legal system, racist courts, etc.

Article 1, Section 7: Freedom of the Press and Speech
In all indictments for libels the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts, under the direction of the court, as in other cases.†
† Except that the judge’s strict instructions do not include the jury’s right to determine the law.
Article 1, Section 8: Security from Searches and Seizures.
The people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers and possessions from unreasonable searches and seizures, and no warrant to search any place or to seize any person or things shall issue without describing them as nearly as may be, nor without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation subscribed to by the affiant.†
† Except for Stop and Frisk arrests, DUI Checkpoints, etc.

Article 1, Section 9: Rights of Accused in Criminal Prosecutions.
In all criminal prosecutions the accused hath a right to be heard by himself and his counsel, to demand the nature and cause of the accusation against him, to meet the witnesses face to face, to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and, in prosecutions by indictment or information, a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the vicinage; he cannot be compelled to give evidence against himself, nor can he be deprived of his life, liberty or property, unless by the judgment of his peers or the law of the land.†
† Except for red light cameras, DUI checkpoints, the “justice” system, etc.

Article 1, Section 13: Bail, Fines, and Punishment.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel punishment inflicted.†
† Except for cruel, mumbo-jumbo legal proceedings, incredibly expensive attorneys with a monopoly on the practice of law, etc.

Article 1, Section 21: Right to Bear Arms.
The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.†
† Except for concealed carry permits, statewide gun registries, etc.

Article 1, Section 25: Reservation of Powers in People.
To guard against transgressions of the high powers which we have delegated, we declare that everything in this article is excepted out of the general powers of government and shall forever remain inviolate.†
† Except for Article 1 Sections 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 21.

Article 2, Section 8: Compensation.
The members of the General Assembly shall receive such salary and mileage for regular and special sessions as shall be fixed by law, and no other compensation whatever, whether for service upon committee or otherwise.†
† Except for cars, office space, staff, pensions, walking around money, expenses, etc.

Article 2, Section 16: Legislative Districts.
The Commonwealth shall be divided into fifty senatorial and two hundred three representative districts, which shall be composed of compact and contiguous territory as nearly equal in population as practicable.†
† Except for congressional, senatorial, general assembly, judicial, municipal, etc. districts.

Article 3, Section 1: Passage of Bills.
No law shall be passed except by bill, and no bill shall be so altered or amended, on its passage through either House, as to change its original purpose.†
† Except for redistricting (https://www.mcall.com/news/pennsylvania/mc-nws-fair-congress-map-metcalfe-20180411-story.html).

Article 3, Section 3: Consideration of Bills.
Every bill shall be considered on three different days in each House.†
† Except midnight pay raises, midnight pay raise repeals, etc.

Article 3, Section 10: Revenue Bills.
All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives, but the Senate may propose amendments as in other bills.†
† Except Act 511 of 1965, the Local Tax Enabling Act

Article 3, Section 14: Public School System.
The General Assembly shall provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of public education to serve the needs of the Commonwealth.†
† Except for not teaching the Pennsylvania Constitution

Article 3, Section 15: Public School Money Not Available to Sectarian Schools.
No money raised for the support of the public schools of the Commonwealth shall be appropriated to or used for the support of any sectarian school.†
† Except for vouchers, school books, school busses, certifications, etc.

Article 7, Section 9: Fixing Election Districts.
Townships and wards of cities or boroughs shall form or be divided into election districts of compact and contiguous territory and their boundaries fixed and changed in such manner as may be provided by law.†
† Except for gerrymandering.

Article 8, Section 11: Gasoline Taxes and Motor License Fees Restricted.
All proceeds from gasoline and other motor fuel excise taxes, motor vehicle registration fees and license taxes, operators’ license fees and other excise taxes imposed on products used in motor transportation after providing therefrom for (a) cost of administration and collection, (b) payment of obligations incurred in the construction and reconstruction of public highways and bridges shall be appropriated by the General Assembly to agencies of the State or political subdivisions thereof; and used solely for construction, reconstruction, maintenance and repair of and safety on public highways and bridges and air navigation facilities and costs and expenses incident thereto, and for the payment of obligations incurred for such purposes, and shall not be diverted by transfer or otherwise to any other purpose.†
† Except for SEPTA

Article 9, Section 5: Appropriation for Public Purposes.
The General Assembly shall not authorize any municipality or incorporated district to become a stockholder in any company, association or corporation, or to obtain or appropriate money for, or to loan its credit to, any corporation, association, institution or individual.†
† Except for teacher pensions.

Article 11, Section 1: Proposal of Amendments by the General Assembly and Their Adoption.
Amendments to this Constitution may be proposed in the Senate or House of Representatives; and if the same shall be agreed to by a majority of the members elected to each House, such proposed amendment or amendments shall be entered on their journals with the yeas and nays taken thereon, and the Secretary of the Commonwealth shall cause the same to be published three months before the next general election.†
† Except for amendments voted upon in primary elections

Pin It on Pinterest