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News Education Constitution Week celebrated in Macon County Schools

Third graders at East Franklin Elementary School were visited by members of the Daughters of the American Revolution on Wednesday. DAR members wore period dress to celebrate Constitution Week.Constitution Week is a national observance to remember and recognize the adoption of the United States Constitution. Each year, Sept. 17 to 23 is designated as Constitution Week around the country.

The week of observance was officially enacted on Aug. 2, 1956, by President Dwight D. Eisenhower from a congressional resolution petitioned by the Daughters of the American Revolution, but it was George W. Bush who officially declared the inception of Constitution Week in September 2002.

The intention of the week is to promote, study, and educate communities around the country about the constitution which was originally adopted by the American Congress of the Confederation on Sept. 17, 1787.

Shelah Portoukalian, Vice Regent with the Battle of Sugartown Chapter of the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, and Battle of Sugartown member Carmen Jessup went before the town board asking for a proclamation be signed by Mayor Joe Collins in observance of the 226th anniversary of the constitution.

The proclamation, which was signed by both town and county officials, urged all citizens to reaffirm the ideals the framers of the Constitution had in 1787 and to vigilantly guard their liberties.

On Wednesday, members of DAR visited East Franklin Elementary to talk to students about the constitution. Martha Washington told third grade students at East Franklin about her life with George Washington. Students asked questions about Martha's life with George and the impact the couple had on shaping the United States.

In observance of Constitution Day on Tuesday, Franklin High School history teacher John deVille invited guest speakers from across the political spectrum to speak to his United States history classes regarding the constitution and how the very freedoms outlined in the centuriesold document translate to today's society. Speakers included Macon County School Board member Gary Shields, deVille's former student Michael Lyons, Town of Franklin Alderman Bob Scott, North Carolina Senator Jim Davis, and Alan Allman.

Speakers addressed students about the historical importance of the constitution and how it applies to the context of today's society. Gary Shields spoke to students about the Bill of Rights and the importance of the meaning. “The Bill of Rights was intended to establish that we as a people are not to be ruled by the government, but instead that we should be guiding the government,” said Shields.

"I was delighted to see students so interested in the Constitution," said Scott. "They asked questions showing their knowledge and concerns for the nation. The thing I wanted to impress upon them was their responsibility as citizens to engage in public discussion as a political duty. I believe that was demonstrated this morning by their interest. Macon Early College and Franklin High School are to be commended for allowing those of us who have diverse views, speak with the students. Although we may have diverse views, it is apparent that we all love and respect what the Constitution means to America and its citizens."

North Carolina Senator Jim Davis spoke to students about where the country was when the constitution was drafted. "I think it is important to educate students on the constitution and where our country was when the constitution was drafted," said Davis. "I appreciate the opportunity to speak about the foundations of our nation."

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