By Terri Lynn Weaver, District 40 Representative

Greetings 40th District!

I am proud to say that on our annual school tour, we were able to hand out nearly 1,000 pocket constitutions to our students. Students were so eager to receive them and to be able to read for themselves the rights given to them according to Amendments I–XVII.

I made sure to emphasize that we are not a democracy but a constitutional republic, “if you can keep it.”

I explained how fortunate we are to live in this country while telling my story of visiting my aunt and uncle in Eastern Germany before the Berlin Wall was torn down in 1989. Experiencing communism and socialism first-hand made a lasting impression on me during my summer stay; an experience I hope we never have to suffer through in the “land of the free and the home of the brave.”

Terri Lynn Weaver

Former President Reagan’s words still remain true and timeless to this day, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

The time I spent in the classrooms across our district was well worth it. Not only does it allow our students to learn more about our legislative branch representing the 40th district, but it also encourages them to engage with their elected officials. Teachers and students were very appreciative, but I truly am the one who is humbled to be able to visit the schools and interact with them every year.

A great resource for ordering pocket constitutions can be found by visiting 917society.com. Join me and together we can revive our beloved Constitution.

I would like to share some statistics that I found completely shocking.

26 percent of Tennessee kids age 12-17 use devices four or more hours a day, excluding time spent using electronics for homework.

1 in 3 Tennessee kids watch three or more hours of TV daily.

67 percent of teens in the U.S. have their own smartphone.

Seven-plus hours are spent in front of screens every day for kids age 8-18.

By 18 months, 20 percent of babies have a daily average handheld device use of 28 minutes. Wow!

Screen time can disrupt sleep patterns, increase inactivity and decrease concentration in kids and young adults.

It is a wise move to set time limits for screen use. Not only should we encourage more physical activity, more quality time with the family, or taking time to enjoy a great book.

During an educational committee meeting last month, it was revealed that 57 percent of third graders cannot read and comprehend proficiently. Parents must play a pivotal role in preparing children for their future. Let’s get them to turn off those screens and read!

My office, along with the other members, no longer resides in the Legislative Plaza. Our new location is in the Cordell Hull Building. State House District 40 will occupy office #554 on the fifth floor.

Next week, I plan to get to work on the new office and making it a welcome place to those I am so honored to serve.

God uses the most surprising events to accomplish His plans. I am currently reading “The American Miracle” by Michael Medved. In this book, it tells how destiny has played an unmistakable role in lifting our nation to greatness. There is no doubt that a distinctive destiny has been in place since that very first Thanksgiving many years ago.

In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln officially designated the third Thursday in November as a day of thanks. All across our nation, families and friends will unite around the table and to be reminded of what a blessed nation we are. In truth, every day is a day to give thanks.

For a grateful heart is a compassionate and caring heart. A heart of thanksgiving will bend the ear of The Giver of all things good and perfect. (James 1:17)

If I were to make a list of all the things that I am thankful for, pen and paper could not contain them.

So, let us enter His gates with Thanksgiving in our heart and enter His courts with praise!

May you and your loved ones have a safe and precious time with family and friends this Thanksgiving holiday.



Terri Lynn Weaver