Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Students Required To Take Part In
A Theoretical Special Committee:
The “National Revised Bill of Rights Task Force”

Jason Howerton, TheBlaze — A parent in Bryant, Ark., claims her sixth-grade daughter brought home a history class assignment that asks students to “revise, omit two and add two amendments” to the “outdated” Bill of Rights. Her daughter is reportedly a student in the Bryant School District.

Lela Spears, the girl’s mother, told the Digital Journal that the worksheet requires students to take part in a theoretical special committee, the “National Revised Bill of Rights Task Force.” The committee is charged with the task of revising the Bill of Rights to “ensure that our personal civil liberties and the pursuit of happiness remains guarded in the 21st century.”

“Your task as a member of the NRBR Task Force is to prioritize, revise, prune two and add two amendments to the Bill of Rights,” the alleged assignment reads.

As you likely know, the Bill of Rights contains the first ten Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, which include the right to free speech, the right to bear arms, protections against unreasonable search and seizure and many other vitally important rights.

The author of the assignment writes: “To gain some wonderful new insights and powerful arguments/viewpoints from the young people in America, I am requesting that at the end of your persuasive presentation, each of you submit you own proposals for the Revised Bill of Rights with your omissions and additions well supported with valid and rational arguments.”

Spears told the Digital Journal that the assignment made her “question exactly what she was being taught.”

“Where I can see a class using critical thinking skills to modernize the words, as to help them better understand the Amendments, giving an assignment to remove two then add two with little explanation as to why is upsetting,” she added. “When I asked my child what the assignment was to teach her she had no idea. Only that she was TOLD to do it. She didn’t even understand what the Amendments meant. How can she make an informed decision when she doesn’t understand what she is ‘throwing out’?”

The mother also said would “never” be willing to omit any portion of the Bill of Rights.

To be fair, it is also possible that the assignment was given with intentions to help students better understand how important the Bill of Rights are to the United States. Additionally, other than the mother’s claims and photos, there is no other evidence proving the assignment was handed down as an official school assignment.

TheBlaze is currently seeking additional information on the assignment from the Bryant School District and will bring you updates as they become available.

The Arkansas State Board of Education approved the controversial Common Core Curriculum for all Arkansas schools in 2010. The Bryant School District website embraces Common Core, claiming that “the standards will better prepare students for college and the workforce, making them nationally and internationally competitive graduates.”

It wasn’t immediately clear if the Bill of Rights assignment was in any way connected to Common Core.

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About the Author
Jason Howerton is the evening front page editor at TheBlaze. Before joining TheBlaze in mid-2012, he worked as a journalist in West Virginia covering the city political scene in Morgantown and Clarksburg. His work has been featured in Drudge Report, Business Insider, the Associated Press and a number of other outlets. Howerton has a B.A. in mass communication/journalism from Texas State University. He lives in Dallas with his fiancé and dog. You can find him on Twitter @jason_howerton.

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