HB 1776 was enacted by Representative Rick Green in 2001 and modified with Rick’s support in 2003 by Rep. Bryan Hughes.
- HB 1776 Took effect September 1, 2001 and was later amended by HB 708 during the 80th session of the Texas legislature. The amendment changed Celebrate freedom week from the week of November 11 to the week of September 17 (Constitution Day).
- Without a push by the education agency, it is very unlikely that many schools in Arkansas are following this legislation, so your local citizen actions are critical to actually achieving the goal of Arkansas children learning the Declaration of Independence and Constitution.
- View the actual language of HB 1776 here. While the basic requirement is still listed in Texas Education Code 29.907, the details of the law have since been moved to the Texas Administrative Code (19 TAC Chapter 74).
Texas Education Code Sec. 29.907. CELEBRATE FREEDOM WEEK. (a) To educate students about the sacrifices made for freedom in the founding of this country and the values on which this country was founded, the week in which September 17 falls is designated as Celebrate Freedom Week in public schools. For purposes of this subsection, Sunday is considered the first day of the week.
(b) The agency, in cooperation with other state agencies who voluntarily participate, may promote Celebrate Freedom Week through a coordinated program. Nothing in this subsection shall give any other state agency the authority to develop a program that provides instruction unless funds are specifically appropriated to that agency for that purpose.
19 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 74.33 (a) Instruction during Celebrate Freedom Week. Each social studies class shall include, during Celebrate Freedom Week as provided under Texas Education Code, §29.907, or during another full school week as determined by the board of trustees of a school district, appropriate instruction concerning the intent, meaning, and importance of the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, in their historical contexts. The study of the Declaration of Independence must include the study of the relationship of the ideas expressed in that document to subsequent American history, including the relationship of its ideas to the rich diversity of our people as a nation of immigrants, the American Revolution, the formulation of the United States Constitution, and the abolitionist movement, which led to the Emancipation Proclamation and the women’s suffrage movement.
(b) Recitation during Celebrate Freedom Week.
(1) Each school district shall require that, during Celebrate Freedom Week or other week of instruction prescribed under subsection (a) of this section, students in Grades 3 – 12 study and recite the following text: “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.”
(2) Each school district shall excuse from the recitation a student:
(A) whose parent or guardian submits to the district a written request that the student be excused;
(B) who, as determined by the district, has a conscientious objection to the recitation; or
(C) who is the child of a representative of a foreign government to whom the United States government extends diplomatic immunity.
- Contact your local school district and ask them what they have planned for Celebrate Freedom Week and Constitution Day
- Send them the link above for resources.
- Ask if they would allow you to find local veterans who could come speak in classes or assemblies about why they were willing to die for freedom and the American Constitutional principles. Then contact the local VFW and American Legion about the opportunity.
- Add comments and photos to this page about what your local school district is doing for Constitution Day and CFW.