I absolutely agree with the bill recently passed by both houses of the Oregon legislature to require a civics class of future graduates of Oregon high schools. I hope the governor signs it.

It would be very interesting to know how well our legislators would do on the test that previous students scored so poorly on that prompted the lawmakers to so enthusiastically in a rare bipartisan vote.

Even better would be to require all state legislators, both those currently sitting and those to be elected in the future, to take the course they want high school students to take and pass. Certainly the last year has enabled schools to perfect the art of teaching on line, so legislators could take the course in that mode without unduly limiting their ability to take care of the very important job to which we have elected them.

One only needs to follow the news coming from Salem to know that a better knowledge of what is likely to be included in such a course would benefit most of our lawmakers.

Prudy Zorotovich

Elkton

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(7) comments

mworden

Oregon already has a state ethics commission. It received a performance audit as recently as May of this year. One of the recommendations was requiring regular ethics training. Oregon's ethics rules apply to both elected officials and government employees. Most elected officials, even those in non-paid positions, have to file annual reports of economic interest. The audit recommended that this requirement be extended to school boards.

As far as I know, there's no commission on civics or the constitution or what it means to follow the law. When Dallas Heard ripped off his mask in the Senate chamber was he championing the constitutional right to go mask free or was he wrongly violating the rights of the other people in the room? The Constitution doesn't address that specifically. But the courts have ruled many times that Americans have the right to free expression, as guaranteed in the First Amendment. But that right does not extend to falsely shouting FIRE! in a crowded theater, thus endangering the safety of others. Seems like ripping off his mask endangered others and thus was not protected free expression. Bet he and his followers have no idea what I'm babbling about here because their idea of liberty does not extend to the safety of others.

https://katu.com/news/local/newly-released-audit-looks-at-ways-oregon-government-ethics-commission-could-improve

Wretched722

Ethics means you have a conscience...and then, that gets into religious aspects....

melrosereader

The governor signed it. Dallas Heard was one of three state legislators who voted no. Why am I not surprised?

Douglas County residents made a huge mistake when they sent this person to Salem. He is the lousiest representative this county has had in its entire history.

Mike

What about requiring students take a course on ETHICS where they can study honesty and morality, including the theory of right and wrong behavior, the theory of value (goodness and badness), and the theory of virtue and vice? It appears today's world of politics has forgotten the concept of ethics.

If I had to vote between an ethics or civics class, I vote ethics.

dejadoodoo

I think you lay a proper foundation before you build something on top of it...in other words, I place more weight on civics being taught. Kids need to learn the laws of our land, as well as the mechanics of how those pillars are maintained. Without that understanding, ethics isn't even possible as a concept.

Mike

How are laws created without ethics?

mworden

When I was in high school about a million years ago I did take a class on ethics. It was cancelled about halfway through due to organized complaints from religious leaders in the community. Our teacher covered several different types of ethical models and when he got to situational ethics, oh, geez, the whole town exploded. Religious folks said the only ethics allowed were based on the 10 Commandments and the bible and that the rules of ethics were fixed and unchangingly based on universal moral truths. They said there is no such thing as flexible moral truths.

It would probably be much worse now. I would object to my children being subjected to religion-based ethics because when you get right down to biblical ethics we have to go stone those adulterers. Deuteronomy 22:22–25

Interestingly, situational ethics were based on Christian thought, with an emphasis on lovingness and kindness, but religious leaders went out of their minds on the subject.

Is it wrong to lie? Is it always wrong to lie? Would you lie to protect someone from being stoned to death for sex outside marriage?

Imagine back in the day when Bush the Elder was president. He's traveling with wife Barbara and there's a terrible accident. You can only save one. Which one would you chose and why?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/introduction/situation_1.shtml

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