House Bill 3749 (Protecting Historical Integrity)
House Bill 3749, introduced by Representative Steven Long, requires any historical plaque, proposed by a local government, related to a monument or statue to be approved by the South Carolina Department of Archives and History to insure that the statement is factually accurate and free of all opinionated statements. The bill is currently in the House Judiciary Committee.
House Bill 3632, introduced by Representative Dwight Loftis, rebukes mob rule by requiring illegally toppled monuments to be repaired and put back in place. Additionally, the bill puts in place mandatory minimum community service hours for those that vandalize historical monuments and cemetery headstones. The bill is currently in the House Judiciary Committee.
Restoring America’s Foundation Act (RAFA)
For the past few decades, citizens have voiced frustration with the lack of U.S. History being taught in our schools. The National Assessment of Educational Progress shows that just 18 percent of students are proficient in the subject of history. Over half of South Carolina students receive a D or F on their high school U.S. Constitution exam, an exam which is already set at a very low bar.
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same…” – President Ronald Reagan
Americans understanding of our founding principles and our unique history fades with each new generation. Failure to correct this trend, and fast, is a direct threat to the future of the country and we are already seeing the evidence.
In South Carolina, the legislature has tried to address the issue but recent changes in the education code are only window dressing. The core problem in South Carolina is that U.S. foundational history is only taught in four grades and in those four grades it is only taught for a small part of the school year. Students are graduating from high school without any real knowledge of the American Revolution, the founding fathers or the founding documents such as the Bill of Rights.
If the legislature is serious about solving this problem, then they must mandate the teaching of U.S. foundational history every year for a minimum number of classroom hours. The American Heritage Association is currently working with South Carolina lawmakers to formally introduce the RESTORING AMERICA’s FOUNDATION ACT (RAFA) which creates the mandate and would finally make a significant step in fixing history education in our schools.
Latest on SC Monument Protection Efforts
A message from Rep. John McCravy to AHA