The American Heritage Act
Michael Chapman testifies before the 2002 Minnesota House of Representatives on behalf of the American Heritage Act. David Barton, historian and founder of Wallbuilders, traveled from Texas to lend his support and provide additional expert testimony. The bill has overwhelmingly passed the Minnesota House two years in a row. It has yet to be given a hearing in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
The American Heritage Act assures that children have the uncensored opportunity to learn about America’s Christian heritage and founding documents. The text of the Minnesota bill in it’s original and final wording is posted below.
(Scroll down to “Education Policy” and click on “watch and listen.”)
Original Wording of American Heritage Act:
S.F No. 139, as introduced: 83rd Legislative Session (2003-2004) Posted on Jan 23, 2003
1.1 A bill for an act
1.2 relating to education; enacting the American Heritage
1.3 Education in Minnesota Public Schools Act; proposing
1.4 coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 120B.
1.5 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:
1.6 Section 1. [120B.25] [AMERICAN HERITAGE EDUCATION.]
1.7 (a) School districts shall develop and establish a policy
1.8 for grade-level instruction to assure that all students are
1.9 encouraged, and have the opportunity, to read and study
1.10 America’s founding documents that are pertinent to understanding
1.11 the principles, character, and world view of America’s founders;
1.12 including documents that contributed to the foundation or
1.13 maintenance of America’s representative republican form of
1.14 limited government, the Bill of Rights, our free-market economic
1.15 system, and patriotism. Districts shall permit a principal or
1.16 teacher to use, read, or post in a public school building,
1.17 classroom, or at any public school event any excerpts or
1.18 portions of the documents, writings, speeches, proclamations, or
1.19 records relating to the history, heritage, or foundation of the
1.20 United States or the state of Minnesota, including, but not
1.21 limited to:
1.22 (1) the Mayflower compact;
1.23 (2) the Declaration of Independence;
1.24 (3) the Constitutions of the United States and the state of
2.1 (4) the Northwest Ordinance of 1787;
2.2 (5) the Federalist Papers;
2.3 (6) the Pledge of Allegiance;
2.4 (7) the national anthem;
2.5 (8) Washington’s farewell address to the nation;
2.6 (9) Lincoln’s Gettysburg address;
2.7 (10) the acts and published records of Congress; and
2.8 (11) the United States Supreme Court decisions and records.
2.9 (b) Districts may not limit or restrain instruction in
2.10 American or Minnesota state history or heritage based on
2.11 religious references in documents, writings, speeches,
2.12 proclamations, or records described under paragraph (a). These
2.13 and any other materials must be used for educational purposes
2.14 and not to establish any religion.
2.15 (c) Students may voluntarily choose to read, write, share,
2.16 report, or otherwise study a topic which is religious in nature
2.17 provided other students are provided with the same opportunity
2.18 to freely choose a topic.
2.19 [EFFECTIVE DATE.] This section is effective the day
2.20 following final enactment.
2.21 Sec. 2. [TITLE.]
2.22 Minnesota Statutes, section 120B.25, shall be known as the
2.23 American Heritage Education in Minnesota Public Schools Act.
2.24 [EFFECTIVE DATE.] This section is effective the day
2.25 following final enactment.
Final language of Minnesota’s American Heritage Education Act which passed in 2005:
a) School districts shall permit grade-level instruction for students to read and study America’s founding documents, including documents that contributed to the foundation or maintenance of America’s representative form of limited government, the Bill of Rights, our free-market economic system, and patriotism.”
b) Districts may not censor or restrain instruction in American or Minnesota state history or heritage based on religious references in original source documents, writings, speeches, proclamations, or records.