Dad Furious After Finding This Crayon-Written Paper in Florida 4th-Grader’s Backpack: ‘I Am Willing to Give Up Some of My Constitutional Rights…to Be Safer’
By Madeleine Morgenstern | The Blaze – Fri, Apr 12, 2013
The words are written in crayon, in the haphazard bumpiness of a child's scrawl.
"I am willing to give up some of my constitutional rights in order to be safer or more secure."
They're the words that Florida father Aaron Harvey was stunned to find his fourth-grade son had written, after a lesson in school about the Constitution.
Aaron Harvey's son wrote as part of a school lesson, "I am willing to give up some of my constitutional rights in order to be safer or more secure." TheBlaze has redacted the child's name.
Harvey's son attends Cedar Hills Elementary in Jacksonville, Fla. Back in January, a local attorney came in to teach the students about the Bill of Rights. But after the attorney left, fourth-grade teacher Cheryl Sabb dictated the sentence to part of the class and had them copy it down, he said.
The paper sat unnoticed in Harvey's son's backpack for several months until last week, when his son's mother almost threw it away. The words caught her eye in the trash, and she showed it to Harvey, who said he was at a loss for words. He asked his son, who said Sabb had spoken the sentence out loud and told them to write it down. Harvey said he asked some of his son's classmates and got a similar answer.
"Everybody has their opinions," Harvey told TheBlaze. "I am strongly for proper education, for the freedom of thought so you can form your own opinion and have your own free speech in the future... [but] the education is, 'when was the Constitution drafted, when was it ratified, why did this happen, why did we choose to do this...all these things, why did they particular choose those specific rights to be in our Bill of Rights.'"
Kandra Albury, a spokeswoman for Duvall County Public Schools, which includes Cedar Hills, told TheBlaze she didn't know what prompted Sabb to have students write the sentence.
She said the principal had fielded one parent's concern about the lesson in January, but it wasn't Harvey. She said Thursday the district and principal were "checking into" what had happened.
Harvey, rather than asking the school for answers when he found the paper, wrote his concerns in an email, which was then forwarded to TheBlaze. He said he did it that way because he wasn't sure he would have gotten a straightforward answer if he asked the school directly.
He said he just wants to see a "proper, unbiased education" system and doesn't want any kind of religion or politics brought into the classroom.
"I believe in our Constitution. I am a veteran, I served for six-and-a-half years proudly and I served to protect our rights," he said. "Now whenever I have someone coming in and trying to pollute my child's mind with biased opinions...there's no education in that."
Editor's note: TheBlaze has withheld the name of the child ad the father's request.