Character Under Construction
“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically… Intelligence plus character; that is the goal of true education.”
– Martin Luther King Jr., Nobel Prize-winning 20th-century American civil rights leader
It is a widely held belief that much of the violence exhibited in school can be prevented by teaching the children essential values of character. In keeping with this belief, the State of Tennessee has mandated that character education be taught in the schools. Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-1007(a) states: “(a) The course of instruction in all public schools shall include character education to help each student develop positive values and improve student conduct as students learn to act in harmony with their positive values and learn to become good citizens in their school, community, and society.”
In compliance with the mandate, the Franklin Special School District has incorporated a character education component in the curriculum. The program, under the leadership of school counselors, is called Character Under Construction, and is implemented in coordination with a county-wide character education initiative by the same name. The county-wide initiative, which is overseen by a group of business leaders, educators, church leaders, parents, and service organizations, has nine character building words to be emphasized in Williamson County. Each trait has been assigned to a particular month to be emphasized not only in our schools, but throughout Williamson County. Although there is flexibility in how each FSSD school administers the Character Under Construction program, they all adhere to the county-wide schedule of emphasis on character words. In order to reinforce the program in school, parents are asked to emphasize the monthly character words at home. It is the goal of the FSSD to help students develop positive values, improve conduct and become good citizens in their school, home, community and society.
The monthly Character Builders are:
Students are also asked to take the Character Under Construction Pledge (written by FSSD Counselors):
- I pledge to be a person of character.
- I will show respect for myself and others.
- I will be responsible in what I say and do.
- I will show perseverance when I keep on trying.
- I will show caring with my actions.
- I will show courage when I do the right thing.
- I will be a good citizen in my school and community.
- I will be trustworthy and tell the truth.
- I will show cooperation as I work with others.
- I will be fair in how I treat others.
“We pay a price when we deprive children of the exposure to values, principles, and the education they need to make them good citizens.”
– Sandra Day O’Connor, U.S. Supreme Court Justice
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