This is the day that schools are under federal orders to teach students about the United States Constitution and the law. But Missouri’s top state judge says today isn’t enough. Chief Justice Michael Wolff says Constitution Day will help children understand the importance of the document and the court system that administers laws under it. But he says no single-day program can turn the country away from its infatuation with celebrities and pop culture. He says one day of civic education is not enough. Wolff says people get a lot of their knowledge about law and the courts through the entertainment media and such programs as “Judge Judy,” who is called an “entertainer” by Wolff. He does admit that her program shows courts are there to help ordinary people resolve disputes in a civilized fashion. Wolff suggests the lack of teaching about civics is a reason only half of the nation’s young people think it is necessary to pay attention to politics and government to be a good citizen. He is bothered that a recent Zogby International survey showd 87 percent of Americans can name at least one of the Seven Drarfs but only 39 percent could name one of the members of the U.S. Supreme Court. Wolff says the federal government requires teaching and testing students on a number of subjects—-but the study of the constitution and the knowledge of government necessary for people to be good citizens is not included— –except for today, Constitution Day, the only day of the school year that the government says government should be taught.
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