STATE HOUSE: State could withhold $1 million from each college until Constitution taught, pornographic material banned

Posted by ANDREW SHAIN on March 10, 2014 

University of South Carolina students make their way past the Russell House on campus during the first day of school in August.

GERRY MELENDEZ — gmelendez@thestate.com Buy Photo

— A House budget amendment would have the state set aside $1 million from each public college until they agree to teach the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. The amendment also would ban the use of pornographic content in classes and requiring students to take a class that include the use of a nude model.

Rep. Mac Toole, R-Lexington, introduced the amendment after recent controversies over colleges not teaching the U.S. founding documents for a year as required by a 90-year-old law and two colleges requiring freshmen to read gay themed books last year.

The law about teaching the Constitution needs updating to be enforced. The law still has colleges under the authority of the state superintendent of education. The state now has a commission on higher education to oversee colleges. Some colleges, including Coastal Carolina and Winthrop, teach courses on the documents anyway.

Toole's amendment does not define "pornographic content." He said most people understand the definition.

Toole said he heard complaints from parents about classes where part of the requirement was to be around nude models.

Other amendments introduced would reinstate $70,000 in finding to College of Charleston and USC Upstate removed by lawmakers as punishment for their gay-themed freshmen reading choices.

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