Character Education

In the mid-1990s, State’s Attorney James W. Glasgow developed C.E.A.S.E.-F.I.R.E., an acronym for Character Education Activates Self Esteem — Fosters Individuals Respecting Each Other. The C.E.A.S.E. F.I.R.E. initiative was embraced by an independent group of concerned Will County public servants and citizens composed of law enforcement and school officials who believed that character education represents a significant weapon in the fight to recapture the spirit of today’s youth, and actively assist in the long-term war against violence, gangs, and drugs. The group believed that character education is a critically acclaimed method of infusing a child’s learning environment with a positive sense of achievement, to develop positive character traits within the child. It is a planned, comprehensive, and systematic approach to teaching self-respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, and citizenship.

As an educational program/curriculum it encompassed a set of 12 universal values: honesty, truthfulness, generosity, kindness, helpfulness, justice, tolerance, honor, courage, convictions, equality, and freedom. The C.E.A.S.E. F.I.R.E. supported curriculum was implemented in over 40 Will County elementary and secondary schools. Since Mr. Glasgow’s re-election in 2004, his character education initiative has been revitalized under the umbrella of CHARACTER COUNTS! from the Josephson Institute of Ethics. The State’s Attorney’s office has been given permission to promote CHARACTER COUNTS! as a comprehensive character education effort aimed at students, teachers, administrators, parents, business owners, local government, law enforcement, faith-based organizations, and community organizations.