• Patriotic Societies
  • August 1, 2017 | Author: Dennis J. Eichelbaum
  • Law Firm: Eichelbaum Wardell Hansen Powell & Mehl, P.C. - Plano Office
  • Senate Bill 1566 takes effect September 1, and it is a whopper of a bill. It is what is known as a “Christmas Tree Bill,” because it has something under it for everyone. It permits trustees to sue school districts over records requests, new localized websites from TEA, a public shaming rule for trustees that requires announcing their training hours before each election, new lice rules, and my favorite, the Patriotic Society provisions.

    The Patriotic Society provision adds Section 25.0822 to the Education Code. It requires that at the beginning of each school year the Board shall adopt a policy to “allow the principal of a public school campus to provide representatives of a patriotic society with the opportunity to speak to students during regular school hours about membership in the society,” etc. The statute says each school year, so this same policy must be passed each year (even though you need not change the language of the policy).

    The policy itself must give principals “complete discretion” to provide reps from Patriotic Societies the opportunity to speak to students during school about membership. The policy shall allow the principal to limit (1) the opportunity provided to a patriotic society to a single school day; and (2) any presentation made to students to 10 minutes in length.

    One might worry about how a principal is to define what is and is not a “Patriotic Society,” and whether this could lead to a First Amendment lawsuit over the Principal’s decision. No need to worry; the Texas Legislature thought of that, and gave us a location to find the list of what are “Patriotic Societies” according to this law. The law says we look to the definition of a youth membership organization listed in Title 36 of the United States Code. I have taken the liberty to provide you with the list at the end of this article.

    The list includes some of the groups you might expect, such as the American Legion, Boy Scouts of America, and Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Other highlights from this list of fascinating organizations students will clamor to listen to include the Agricultural Hall of Fame, the American Hospital of Paris, Mining Hall of Fame and Museum, the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements, and the Society of American Florists and Ornamental Horticulturists. For those of you that are members of some of these societies, I am certain you do your part in waving the American Flag. I look forward to receiving feedback on what the National Tropical Botanical Organization has to say, and I hope you hurry to invite the Veterans of World War I of the United States, because next year they will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the end of the war.

    Please read SB 1566, as it is not limited to Patriotic Societies. But I anticipate a snicker or two as you review the list below and ponder the Congressional debate as to which of these groups were truly patriotic enough to make the list, and who might have been left off?

    Agricultural Hall of Fame; Air Force Sergeants Assoc.; American Academy of Arts And Letters; American Chemical Society; American Council of Learned Societies; American Ex-Prisoners of War; American GI Forum of the U.S.; American Gold Star Mothers, Inc.; American Historical Assoc.; American Hospital of Paris; The American Legion; The American Nat. Theater And Academy; The American Society of Internat. Law; American Symphony Orchestra League; American War Mothers; Amvets (American Veterans); Army And Navy Union of the U.S. of America; Aviation Hall of Fame; Big Brothers—Big Sisters of America; Blinded Veterans Assoc.; Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc.; Board for Fundamental Education; Boy Scouts of America; Boys & Girls Clubs of America; Catholic War Veterans of the U.S. of America, Inc.; Civil Air Patrol; Congressional Medal of Honor Society of the U.S. of America; Corporation for the Promotion of Rifle Practice And Firearms Safety; Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War 1861–1865; Disabled American Veterans; 82nd Airborne Division Assoc., Inc.; Fleet Reserve Assoc.; Former Members of Congress; The Foundation of the Federal Bar Assoc.; Frederick Douglass Memorial And Historical Assoc.; Future Farmers of America; General Federation of Women’s Clubs; Girl Scouts of the U.S. of America; Gold Star Wives of America; Help America Vote Foundation; Italian American War Veterans of the U.S.; Jewish War Veterans of the U.S. of America, Inc.; Jewish War Veterans, U.S.A., Nat. Memorial, Inc.; Korean War Veterans Assoc., Inc.; Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic; Legion of Valor of the U.S. of America, Inc.; Little League Baseball, Inc.; Marine Corps League; The Military Chaplains Assoc. of the U.S. of America; Military Officers Assoc. of America; Military Order of the Purple Heart of the U.S. of America, Inc.; Military Order of the World Wars; Nat. Academy of Public Administration; Nat. Academy of Sciences; Nat. Conference of State Societies, Washington, District of Columbia; Nat. Conference On Citizenship; Nat. Council On Radiation Protection And Measurements; Nat. Education Assoc. of the U.S.; Nat. Fallen Firefighters Foundation; Nat. Federation of Music Clubs; Nat. Film Preservation Foundation; Nat. Fund for Medical Education; Nat. Mining Hall of Fame And Museum; Nat. Music Council; Nat. Recording Preservation Foundation; Nat. Safety Council; Nat. Ski Patrol System, Inc.; Nat. Society, Daughters of the American Colonists; The Nat. Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution; Nat. Society of the Sons of the American Revolution; Nat. Tropical Botanical; Nat. Woman’s Relief Corps, Auxiliary to the Grand Army of the Republic; The Nat. Yeomen (F); Naval Sea Cadet Corps; Navy Club of the U.S. of America; Navy Wives Clubs of America; Non Commissioned Officers Assoc. of the U.S. of America, Inc.; Paralyzed Veterans of America; Pearl Harbor Survivors Assoc.; Polish Legion of American Veterans, U.S.A.; Reserve Officers Assoc. of the U.S.; Retired Enlisted Assoc., Inc.; Society of American Florists And Ornamental Horticulturists; Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War; Theodore Roosevelt Assoc.; 369th Veterans’ Assoc.; United Service Organizations, Inc.; U.S. Capitol Historical Society; U.S. Olympic Committee; U.S. Submarine Veterans of World War II; Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S.; Veterans of World War I of the U.S. of America, Inc.; Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc.; Women’s Army Corps Veterans’ Assoc.