ATLANTA -- The House overwhelmingly backed giving Georgia
students a lesson in character yesterday, while state School
Superintendent Linda Schrenko was trying to convince senators to
make children follow a code of conduct.
The efforts are two of many lawmakers are considering to make
schools safer this session.
The House voted 168-0 for legislation sponsored by Rep. Carl
Von Epps, D-LaGrange, calling on the state Board of Education to
develop character curriculum for Georgia schools.
"It can and will enhance the life of a lot of youths for a lot
of years," Von Epps told colleagues yesterday.
The state board approved a rule in the early 1990s calling for
values instruction, but has done little follow-up to see whether
the dictate is being carried out at the local level.
Von Epps wants Georgia schools to follow the example of West
Point Elementary, a campus in his district that began character
education three years ago.
Students get 10 minutes of "character" instruction on things
like honesty and self-respect at the beginning of each school
Under Von Epps' measure, the state board would develop a
character program focusing on: courage, patriotism, citizenship,
honesty, fairness, respect for others, kindness, cooperation,
self-respect, self-control, courtesy, compassion, tolerance,
diligence, generosity, punctuality, cleanliness, cheerfulness,
school pride, respect for the environment, patience, creativity,
sportsmanship and loyalty. …