Freedom means… disagreeing on what freedom means

The 2012 State of the First Amendment national survey reflects conflicting views on support for free expression and press freedom. Review and pick an activity:

Flashlight: What parts of the survey seem the most noteworthy? Are there important questions the survey did not ask? Why might Americans be so divided?

Spotlight: “Education for Freedom” is offered by the Freedom Forum’s First Amendment Center, a nonpartisan center dedicated to the understanding and appreciation of the values of the First Amendment. Do any of the lessons seem right for your class? Choose one.

Searchlight: University of Washington legal scholar Ronald K. L. Collins is a First Amendment Center fellow.  In 2012, he was awarded a Scribes Book Award (bronze) for his work We Must Not be Afraid to be Free (written with educator Sam Chaltain, who pioneered First Amendment Schools). Ask students to review the book and write a short paper on the fears Collins says hold us back.

Bonus activity for high school teachers:  Conduct an exercise that allows students to explore the meaning of the First Amendment with as a resource.