Last week, Galt elementary students nearly commemorated Constitution Day with a religous-based curriculum reportedly provided by the Tea Party Patriots and the Latter-day Saints church.
Superintendent Karen Schauer, of Galt Joint Union Elementary School District, erroneously ordered the classroom materials online from a website that focused on the godly aspects of writing the United States Constitution due to a simple name mix-up. However, she caught the mistake before it was too late.
In 2004, the federal government decided that all American public school students should learn about the historic document. To do this, the district ordered the standard materials, including a video and poster.
It wasn't until they received the literature did Schauer realize she had been led to a different website that was not on the recommended resources lists from the Sacramento County Office of Education or the State Department of Education.
The nonprofit site they had chosen was the National Center for Constitutional Studies, founded by a Mormon political writer. The two-hour video was produced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
NCCS is also the primary website the Tea Party Patriots recommend in their "Adopt-a-School" program for the week surrounding Constitution Day, Sept. 17.
The district's miscue started when a community member sent information to Schauer and the school board inquiring how they were going to recognize Constitution Day. The inquiry came with a suggested website to order the curriculum materials.
"I thought it was the same website we had used in the past that has a number of resources that can be used to celebrate this day," she said earlier this week.
But when she later reviewed the Sacramento County Office memo regarding the materials school districts could choose from, she saw that the website had a similar name but was not the same. The county's resource is the National Constitution Center not the National Center for Constitutional Studies.
"I am not sure if the first set of materials were sponsored by the Tea Party Patriots, but did not find the materials on the approved list, so they were returned," Schauer said.
School board president John Gordon chalks it up to a simple mistake and pointed out it was rectified before students were given the wrong materials.
"The superintendent ensured that our schools will have the most appropriate materials to recognize Constitution Day as deemed by Sacramento County Office of Education," he said.
Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.