University of South Carolina refuses to mandate Constitution course, despite state law requiring it

Robby Soave Reporter
Font Size:

Administrators at the University of South Carolina would rather ignore state law than require students to be educated about America’s founding legal documents.

When pressed for comment on the matter by concerned students, The USC President Harris Pastides admitted that he found state statutes requiring the teaching of the Constitution and the Federalist Papers to be antiquated and in need of revision. (RELATED: Textbook: Reagan was sexist, conservatives think people are evil and lazy)

The issue was first raised last year by students Jameson Broggi and Taylor Smith, who were concerned that the university was violating state law, according to The Daily Gamecock.

“USC students aren’t required to take classes on the Constitution and other documents central to the founding of the U.S., which means the university is breaking state law,” The Daily Gamecock wrote.

State statutes maintain that all students at a South Carolina public school must spend a certain amount of time studying the Constitution and the Federalist Papers. Failure to abide by the statute is grounds for the removal of the head of the public institution–in this case, President Pastides.

“Willful neglect or failure on the part of any public school superintendent, principal or teacher or the president, teacher or other officer of any high school, normal school, university or college to observe and carry out the requirements [of the statute] shall be sufficient cause for the dismissal or removal of such person from his position,” according to South Carolina law.

The USC administrators say the statute is inconvenient to enforce, however, since it would disrupt the university’s current course requirements. (RELATED: Student sues college that trampled the Constitution on Constitution Day)

That explanation isn’t good enough for Broggi.

“I think it is sad President Pastides does not think he has to follow the law simply because he does not like it,” Broggi told The Daily Caller.

Broggi is running for president of The USC’s student government, and stressed that he would press the administration to follow the law if elected to office. It is important for students to have a rudimentary understanding of the U.S.’s founding laws so that they will know if their rights are being violated by the government, he said.

“I do not think we can continue to be a great nation if we forget the principles that have made us great,” he added.

Follow Robby on Twitter