Schools should act on Sandra Day O'Connor's call for civics education

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: April 29, 2012
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O'Connor also shared about her life experiences and the path culminating in her historic appointment. As the first female justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, “she shattered the glass ceiling,” said Oklahoma City University President Robert Henry, a moderator for the event alongside Cathy Christensen, Oklahoma Bar Association president.

“It opened countless doors for women,” O'Connor said. At the time, there wasn't even a women's restroom in the private area of the courtroom. Now, three of the nine justices are female.

That fateful Oval Office conversation with President Ronald Reagan began with talk about their common ground of ranch life. When O'Connor boarded a plane to return home, she breathed a sigh of relief and thought, “Well that was interesting, but thank goodness I don't have to do that job.” To her surprise, she soon got a call from Reagan: “I want to announce your nomination tomorrow.” The job hadn't been on her radar and she wasn't sure she had what it took, but she ultimately accepted the honor. And the rest is history.

It's history that our students should be learning. With merely one-third of adults able to name all three branches of government, and one-third unable to recall any, we must do a better job of teaching the value of American history and institutions. Lest we be content with a citizenry of stooges.


by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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