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The Dreyfuss Initiative

Actor Richard Dreyfuss Tells North County About His Initative to have Civics Taught in Schools

by: Tom Morrow

Encinitas resident and Oscar-winning actor Richard Dreyfuss has begun a nationwide effort to encourage school officials to teach middle and high school students more civics rights and duties of citizens.

Dreyfuss who played a teacher in “Mr. Holland’s Opus” is becoming one in real life. He’s launched a personal campaign urging teachers and school boards to teach students the basic points of being an American citizen.

“Do any of you know the Preamble to the Constitution,” Dreyfuss asked a North County luncheon gathering Friday in San Marcos? Few in the audience of 50, raised their hands.

He made his point and explained what the Dreyfuss Initiative is all about.

“The teaching of civics presently in the United States is dismal and startling,” he said. “It used to be, when I was a kid, that there were classes in civics and you learned not only the checks and balances, but the hows and whys and wherefores. And you learned the reasoning behind the creation of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.”

In an interview with ABC News, Dreyfuss pointed out that, “If you think that running a government like ours is, arguably, more complicated than running a pharmaceutical company or an auto company, and it is, then we should train people to the running of the country.”

Dreyfuss explained his national effort to the Albondigas luncheon of North County elected officials and political leaders, “We want to define the necessity of civics: What is it and is it necessary? If it’s necessary, is it urgent? And, if it’s urgent, what do we do? And then we should start to proceed to literally design classes.

“It is time that we simply revive the notion that we can learn how to run the country — and learn not for Republicans and not for Democrats, but learn how to learn the Constitution. The idea of people having power to pursue a notion of happiness or control of their own lives is a new thing and a miracle. America is a miracle,” Dreyfus told the North County gathering.

To learn more about the Dreyfuss Initiative you can visit the website here [Link]

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