Skip to comments.Reddy Finney, Joe Enge, and the US Constitution
Posted on 11/05/2005 9:24:44 AM PST by Congressman Billybob
The Carson City, Nevada, school administrators are attempting to fire an award-winning history teacher, Joe Enge. Why should that matter to you? Ill combine his story with that of my 11th grade history teacher. Maybe youll agree this matters to everyone who cares about the future of America.
In Carson City schools, administrators insist that history teachers begin teaching American history with the Civil War. Joe Enge, an 11th grade teacher there whos written two history books and has served on a statewide board on history teaching, disagrees. He begins at the beginning, teaching his students about the American Revolution, and the Constitution which was created, after one false start.
The school board is now considering whether to fire him for insubordination, for refusing to ignore half of American history, in teaching his students.
Why should this matter?
I offer the example of C. Redmond (Reddy) Finney, my 11th grade history teacher, back when ice covered the Earth. Our text book had the Constitution printed in the back. Reddy encouraged us to read it, and explained arcane phrases like letters of marque and reprisal. He encouraged us to apply what we read to the stories in the newspapers.
That was when the nation was moving toward the 1960 election between Vice President Richard Nixon and Senator John Kennedy. The future of the nation was about to be contested, once again, between the Republicans and the Democrats. I read the Constitution through. Then I read it two more times. Nowhere did it refer to either of those political parties, or to parties at all. My curiosity was aroused.
At Yale, I took almost by happenstance (but encouraged by Reddy Finney) an undergraduate course in Constitutional Law. The fascination continued. While my classmates were on the beach for Spring Break in 1964, I was in the library, reading Supreme Court cases for a paper in that class.
I lead that class in Constitutional Law. In 1970, in the required course in Constitutional Law at Maryland Law School, again I led my class. My Professor was Sandy Rosen, who left a year later to become Legal Director of the ACLU in New York. Just before leaving, he was asked by the campaign of Dr. Benjamin Spock, Peoples Party candidate for President, to challenge Maryland election laws for excluding him from the ballot in 1972.
Rosen said he was leaving and couldnt take the case. Asked for a recommendation, he suggested me. It was the first case I ever handled in any court on any issue. It was consolidated with a similar challenge by George Wallaces American Party. For reasons Ill skip here, the court ordered me to argue the case for both Spock and Wallace.
The court denied relief. I called Sandy Rosen about it. He asked if I wanted the case taken to the Supreme Court. It took a nanosecond to say yes. The Supreme Court also denied relief. But I was hooked on constitutional law. In 1976, I got my first win in that Court, for Eugene McCarthy, independent candidate for President. The Court ordered Texas to put his name on the ballot.
In 1983, I played a key role in the Supreme Court case affirming the right of John Anderson, independent, to run for President in 1980. In 2000 I filed a brief in Bush v. Palm Beach Canvassing Board, concerning the conduct of the recounts in Florida for President that year. Mine was the only brief which urged the Court to strike the Florida decision from the record. And that was what the Court did, unanimously, when it first took the case.
None of that career in constitutional law would have occurred, without the interest awakened by Reddy Finney, my 11th grade history teacher. The point is obvious. Somewhere among the students of Joe Enge could be some who will make their mark in the future of our constitutional republic as lawyers, as elected officials, as government leaders.
But will they get those opportunities if they are denied the encouragement of a teacher who teaches about the longest surviving constitution in history? Id say what happens to Joe Enge is vitally important to the future of America.
If you agree, contact Superintendent Mary Pierczynski in Carson City, Nevada. Youll have to try real hard to get through to her. Right now, her e-mail has crashed and her phones are jammed, by thousands of Americans protesting her effort to fire Joe Enge, and to consign the Constitution to an asterisk in history.
About the Author: John Armor is a First Amendment attorney and author who lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. John_Armor@aya.yale.edu
Here's my take on this.
John / Billybob
It's sad really that our education system has become so pathetic. I remember one of my favorite history teachers made us memorize parts of the constitution and explained every aspect in depth. We started our American History class with the first pilgrims and went all the way to the current events of the day. I believe that was one of the reasons I loved President Reagan so much because of so many wonderful things we delved into that was happening positively with the country. My teacher was a democrat, but I doubt she would vote that way today. Alabama at that time was primarily ran by the conservative democrats and has slowly evolved into the red state it is today.
Hi John - I don't know if their system crashed or they cut off their email as six of the people getting the petition I signed were just returned to my mail box. Clever slobs, aren't they? I guess they think that without electronics they don't have to face public opinion. Well, the post office will still deliver so we should bombard them with bags of mail. Thanks.
"My teacher was a democrat,"
I have to say I went to school so long ago that knowing a teacher's political affiliation, sexual orientation, or religion wasn't even a known factor! School was for education not indoctrination or brainwashing. AND in the 40's we did get "religious education" one class period each Friday. Hmmmm - maybe it should be considered again! Think that might get the ACLU excited?
So, now that the school system's e-mail has crashed, the e-mails of the board's employers should be posted. If the Board is appointed, or maybe regardless of that, all of the e-mails of elected officials in Carson City need to be listed.
This is a political firestorm that should burn the butts of every anti-Constitution fools in or near the education establishment in Carson City. Also, some investigation of the history standards everywhere (which are usually set at the statewide level) should be made.
This is probably not an isolated problem. Other school boards, both local and state, may have made the decision to ignore the first half of American history.
John / Billybob
In our little town, the only thing we knew about our teachers personally was "Mr." or "Mrs." and a few "Misses".
The only reason I knew she was democrat was because of seeing her at an outside event for Richard Shelby. He at that time was democrat running for something. I don't think it was the senate at that time. He eventually ran against Jeremiah Denton, a republican and won the seat. But during the 90's and the debauchery known as the Clintons caused Shelby to switch parties. He was a very conservative democrat.
I was in high school during the late 80's. We still had a devotional every morning and a prayer time. We had a club that was called the YFC or Youth for Christ. These students were the ones who would organize the devo. each morning. I also remember people from Sav-a-life and other such groups coming to the schools and having programs in the auditorium. At one program they passed out bible commentaries to each of the students. I still have mine. :) Amazing how much a small amount of time has changed all of that!! Thankfully I live in Alabama where we still have prayers before games and such, but a school could not get "away" with what we did then. Sickening that the ACLU has so much power to ruin our one nation under God.
"In our little town, the only thing we knew about our teachers personally was "Mr." or "Mrs." and a few "Misses"."
My town was also a very small town - in upstate NY. In addition to the other points I raised and your comments, I also recall that each female teacher was dressed in a suit or other appropriate attire for the job and the male teachers were dressed in suits with ties. Today it's difficult to know the difference between a teacher and a student entering a school by the way they are dressed.
Probably no difference in their mentality either.
Progress? No in this old mind.
This is from their Aug 23,2005 Board Meeting minutes, pages 2 & 3
Discussion and action on a theme for the American Citizens Essay Contest 2005-2006 school year
Dr. Pierczynski reminded Board and audience members that it is the time of year for the fourth annual School Board essay contest. The essay contest is open to any public, private, or home-schooled student in Carson City. Participation is voluntary. The essay should be no longer than five pages and may be as short as the student desires. Essays may be handwritten or typed. The first page of the essay must identify the name of student, his/her age, school, telephone number and address.
Essays will be judged within each grade level as follows:
- Adherence to topic.
- Quality of writing.
- Originality of thought.
Three winners will be selected, elementary school, middle school, and high school. Each winner will receive a government savings bond of $250.00
Board members discussed possible topics for this years essay. Mr. John McKenna made the following motion, seconded by Mrs. Joanna Wilson and voted unanimously:
I MOVE THAT THE CARSON CITY SCHOOL BOARD OF TRUSTEES APPROVE THE FOLLOWING AS TOPIC FOR ANNUAL ESSAY CONTEST:
Amendment I of the United States Constitution states, Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
STUDENTS ARE TO CHOOSE PART OR ALL OF THE AMENDMENT TO WRITE THEIR ESSAY.
(Ayes: 6; Noes: 0; Motion Passed)
So here we have a teacher whom the good "Dr Mary" wants to FIRE for teaching the Constitution, yet the annual school essay is on the same Constitution that cannot be taught!
Here's the link but WARNING its in Adobe. So if your 'puter locks up don't blame me.
Carson City School District
1402 West King Street, Carson City NV 89703
(775) 283-2000 - Fax: (775) 283-2090
U.S. History (Time, 45 minutes)
1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided. 2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus. 3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War. 4. Show the territorial growth of the United States. 5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas. 6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion. 7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton, Bell, Lincoln, Penn, and Howe? 8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607 1620 1800 1849 1865
Somewhere around 1925, Social Engineering under the guise of various names like Progressive Education began by Philosopher John Dewey. It is alive and well today with many colleges and universities teaching future teachers the cult Modus Operandi from the man who emphasized the development of individuality and initiative in children, in opposition to the conservative traditions of education which emphasized the inculcation of learning. Thereby the eventual dumbing down we see today, of American students in public schools - once an educational system admired by the educated world, it is no longer anything more than a hodge-podge of social engineering.
This is getting HUGE!
Fox News is here interviewing Joe Enge now.
There are more articles on this at the homepage of NICPAC up in Reno.
Scroll to the lower left.