Proposed Bill Would Require Students To Recite Declaration of Independence

By Jim Burns | July 7, 2008 | 8:25 PM EDT

( - A bill has been proposed in the South Carolina state legislature that would require public school students to recite two sentences of the Declaration of Independence. Students already are required in South Carolina to say the Pledge of Allegiance.

The bill's sponsor, South Carolina State Senator Joe Wilson, believes the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness should be on the lips of every South Carolina student each day to instill American patriotism well into the next millennium.

"We need to be reminded of the precepts of the Declaration of Independence. We are created equal. We need to treat each other in an honorable fashion," Wilson said.

Wilson's bill would require public school students to recite: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

Some South Carolina educators question Wilson's bill.

"I'd like to see our children growing up understanding the Declaration of Independence, but knowing it's worth and understanding it rather than just having to recite it every morning," South Carolina State Board of Education member Robert Scarborough said.

Wilson could not be reached for further comment by