SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah State Bar will kick off its statewide Civics Education Program on Monday in elementary, junior high and high school classrooms across the state in honor of Constitution Day.
The program places attorneys and judges in Utah classrooms to engage students in a one-hour lesson focused on fostering participation in, understanding of and enthusiasm for democracy, separation of powers, the rule of law and the role of an independent judiciary.
More than 200 classrooms have signed up to participate in the program, which will feature several attorneys and judges, including Justice Christine Durham of the Utah Supreme Court and Judge Dee Benson of the Federal District Court for the District of Utah.
"We believe the legal community has an obligation to assist teachers with the responsibility of educating students about our Constitution and government," said Angelina Tsu, Civics Education Committee chairwoman. "It is a privilege to have the opportunity to partner with schools across Utah in educating students on such important issues."
The program is a result of national concern over the decline in America's knowledge of the fundamentals of democracy. The Utah State Bar hopes to help reverse the trend by challenging its members to do their part and volunteer in local classrooms.
"The Utah State Bar is committed to supporting public education on this issue, and we are passionate about this program," Tsu said.