Constituting America comes to Chilton County

Published 3:55 pm Thursday, October 19, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

“Protect your freedom, know your Constitution.”

That was one of the focuses during the Constituting America presentation by Janine Turner to Verbena High School seventh and eighth grade students.

The video call to James York’s class was the first in a series of scheduled presentations to local students in Chilton County Schools.

Turner quizzed students on their knowledge of the Constitution, while highlighting key points about its history and what it means for America.

Turner emphasized that the rights of Americans “are not given by the government,” but are theirs at birth as unalienable rights.

“In a few short years, your vote is going to matter, so it’s important to know what’s in here,” Turner said.

The presentation highlighted that the three branches of government (executive, legislative and judicial) are established and outlined in the Constitution.

“A lot of people think the president of the United States is the most important person, but that’s not supposed to be the case,” Turner said. “Everyone is supposed to be equal, equal branches … you have people that you vote for that live right in your county.”

She said these leaders swear to protect the Constitution and not just the people, in order to keep leaders under the law.

Turner also told students about the contests the organization holds every year. Students are encouraged to use their talents, such as music or writing, to create something promoting awareness of what the Constitution actually says. Winners are connected with a mentor in the medium they chose. The work is then promoted by Constituting America.

Locally, Sherry Cox and Josh Jennings have worked to get the program and accompanying book in to Chilton County classes.

“Our goal … was to give the teachers another tool in their toolbox to enrich their curriculum in teaching about the Constitution,” Cox said.

Various donors have contributed toward purchasing 600 books for six local schools seventh and eighth grade history and civics classes.

The book explains each part of the Constitution in detail.

In addition to the book, students received pocket-sized copies of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Donors included United Way of Chilton County, Chilton County Republican Executive Committee, Rep. Jimmy Martin, Rep. April Weaver, Key Properties: Jimmy and Dian Easterling, Richard Moore and Peoples Southern Bank, Probate Judge Bobby Martin, Circuit Clerk Glenn McGriff, Clanton Lions Club and Mickey Bates and Friends.

Cox said she would like to thank all of the donors as well as Chilton Education Foundation for collecting the donations, Mandy Lowery of Chilton County School for ordering the books and Superintendent of Education Tommy Glasscock.