Students need to understand government

December 6, 2018

It hardly seems possible, but it’s happening: Students have gotten so fed up that they’ve resorted to legal action to get the education they need to become productive citizens. It’s a sad scene if students aren’t exposed to the basics of how local government works or how decision-makers are held accountable by the citizens they govern.

It hardly seems possible, but it’s happening: Students have gotten so fed up that they’ve resorted to legal action to get the education they need to become productive citizens.

As The Associated Press reported last week, a group of public school students and their parents filed a class-action lawsuit against Rhode Island’s governor and the state’s education officials, claiming that the state fails to prepare young people to fully participate in civic life.

The students are asking the federal courts to confirm the constitutional rights of all public-school students to a civics education that adequately prepares them to vote, exercise free speech, petition the government, serve on a jury, write a letter to a newspaper’s editor, participate in a mock trial or otherwise actively engage in their communities.