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Civics and Character Education in Schools

WHEREAS, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People ("NAACP") advocates equity for all citizens and views education as key to success in students' personal lives as well as in their becoming productive and contributing members of society; and

WHEREAS, education influences and reflects appropriate behaviors in a democratic society; and

WHEREAS, character and civics instruction can guide students daily in making decisions that are moral and ethical; and

WHEREAS, an emphasis on basic ethics, values, and civic responsibilities fosters understanding and appreciation of others' differences among students; and

WHEREAS, targeted character and civics instruction can help students become productive and socially responsible citizens who lead fulfilling lives and make positive contributions to society; and

WHEREAS, all students should have knowledge of the tenets and functions of government and the law in democratic society; and

WHEREAS, children's acquisition of personal morals and values are fortified by their life experiences, including schooling; and

WHEREAS, in a diverse population, it is important not only to teach character but also to layer that instruction with cultural differences; and

WHEREAS, it is the responsibility of educational agencies to promote self-respect and respect of others among students; and

WHEREAS, character and civics education are proactive approaches to establishing positive discipline and behavior in schools; and

WHEREAS, schools should prepare youth to be accountable to standards of conduct consistent with the values of our democracy; and

WHEREAS, character and civics education positively affects behavioral changes in groups and individually to decrease negative behaviors such as discipline referrals, suspensions, dropouts, and fighting; and

WHEREAS, character and civics education can be embedded in curricula, delivered to students by direct instruction, infused into lessons across academic disciplines, and routinely reinforced at teachable moments; and

WHEREAS, the NAACP reaffirms the 2007 resolution "NAACP Supports Myriad of Federal Legislative Initiatives to Fight the Emergency of Global Disease and Extreme Poverty" [found under Legislation at 9.] which, among other things, supported proposed federal legislation promoting 'civic education and life skills training; and

WHEREAS, the NAACP asserts that character and civics education is vital to the welfare of students as well as the nation and should be integral throughout schooling.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the NAACP urges all units to advocate that state and local education agencies make character and civics education a mandatory component of every student's Pre-K through 12 instructional program.

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