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Legislature passes bill to teach U.S. is republic

Published March 9, 2011 3:50 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A bill that would ensure Utah students learn the U.S. is a compound constitutional republic — not a democracy — has passed both Houses of the Legislature and is now headed to the governor for his signature.

HB220 would require schools to teach students that the U.S. is a compound constitutional republic and about other forms of government such as pure democracy, monarchy and oligarchy along with political philosophies and economic systems such as socialism, individualism and free-market capitalism. The Senate passed the bill with no dissenting votes Monday.

And on Tuesday, the House agreed to wording changes made in the Senate.

The bill passed after weeks of debate over the differences between democracies and republics and whether socialism is a form of government or a philosophy.

Opponents of the bill argued that the concepts within it are already being taught and that the Legislature shouldn't get involved in curriculum matters.

But on Monday, Senate floor sponsor Sen. Mark Madsen, R-Eagle Mountain, said in some states children are being indoctrinated in socialism via some curriculum.

"This is happening at least in some places in our country, so I believe this is all the more important in this state, so that we can protect our children from such curriculum," Madsen said.

Lisa Schencker