The first page of the constitution. (Credit: The Constitution of the United States)
Constitution Day was this year on September 17, which recognizes James Madison’s draft of a significant historical document that was signed, known as the U.S. Constitution by delegates at the Constitutional Convention about 235 years ago.
The constitution is significant because it’s the supreme law of the United States that enforces the rights we have and establishes the organization of our government. The first three words of the document are, “We the people,” which initiates the purpose of serving the citizens of this country. Knowledge of how the government operates and what rights we attain through this national enforcement helps citizens who are stipulated to advocate for themselves. Abuse of power that could potentially lead to tyranny is prevented through the constitution. Additionally, citizenship of the United States is embraced to honor the separate acknowledgment of nationality from England.
Educational institutions that are funded by the federal government are mandated to educate students about the constitution on this day. Liliana Herrera is a Problem Solving Data Coordinator at Huntington Park High School, who advocates for awareness of the constitution among students. Herrera commented, “Sometimes in the system that exists today, we’re not treated as fairly. So, if I don’t know the laws that are there to protect me, it becomes easy for others to take advantage of them.” There are many resources online that inform citizens about constitutional rights. As a former history teacher, Herrera emphasized, “There’s a mini lesson for students’ history teachers to go over and review what has been taught of the constitution in 5th grade, 8th grade, and then 11th grade.” Students are indoctrinated to be informed about the constitution from elementary to high school. It’s taught in social studies classes and has set a precedent for the future rights of this country.
The famous Bill of Rights, which incorporates the first 10 amendments of the constitution, ensures equality, freedom, and protection. The Constitution allows equality and freedom within citizens, despite their race, background, and religion. The Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches of the United States Government can’t pass legislation that interferes with constitutional rights. Constitution Day celebrates rights imposed in the national document for every citizen to abide by and prevent the government from breaching it.
By Brianna Andrade, Co-Editor-in-Chief