to a timeline proposed on May 6, 2002, the Ten Commandments and other
historical documents could grace the walls of New Hanover County schools
by the middle of August.
an agreement on what the display of historical documents should look
like and which documents will be included, chairman of the Board of
Education Policy Committee Don Hayes said he wants the full board
to meet in June where the committee would make a recommendation with
July set for final approval.
the New Hanover County Schools became the first in North Carolina
to allow historical documents, including the Ten Commandments, to
be posted in its schools under a state law adopted last year.
“documents and objects of historical significance that have formed
and influenced the United States (U.S.) legal or government system
and that exemplify the development of the rule of law,” the law permits
local boards of education to allow.
Also, “in the same manner and appearance generally” as the
other historical documents, religious documents must be displayed
adds the law.
has been charged with developing a protocol for posting the historical
documents. Chairman Hayes
proposed including 13 historical documents in the displays at the
May 6, 2002 meeting. For example,
the Ten Commandments, the First Amendment, the Mayflower Compact,
the national motto, the national anthem, the New Hanover County Proclamation,
the New Hanover County seal, the Mecklenberg Declaration, the Halifax
Resolves, and the preamble to the North Carolina Constitution were
included in his suggestions. The documents were recommended because of their
local, state and national significance said Hayes.
about posting the Ten Commandments in the schools were reiterated
by board member Maryann Nunnally.
The Biblical laws should be displayed in Hebrew said Nunnally.
She said, “At least it would be the original historic document.” A few of the secular tenants could be highlighted
in English as a compromise she suggested.
hanging in the U.S. Supreme Court building, which is a Protestant
translation, is what he thought the committee would use.
said she doubts students would even look at any of the historical
shrines, which are documents revolving around freedom in America are
in high schools currently. At
one high school, Nunnally said she went to five classrooms and asked
if any of the students knew what was hanging on the hallway.
She said few had any idea of what the documents might be.
regarding discussion of the historical documents in the classroom
Mr. Hayes turned to Superintendent Dr. John Morris who said, “We can’t
find where it would fail.” Some
historical documents, however were discussed as part of the U.S. history
curriculum he added.
Jones, “Biblical laws on list for school walls,” Wilmington Morning
Star, May 14, 2002)
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