Students’ First Amendment Rights in School - Virtual

Recommended Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12

Editor: Corey Genest

General Description

  • Students will examine and interpret federal court cases pertaining to student speech rights in schools.
  • Students will compare and contrast federal court cases with community views as provided by op-ed pieces in local papers.
  • Students will analyze and discuss the reason and relevance underlying court precedents, legislation, school policies and community views regarding student speech rights.

  • Bellwork: How is your typical school day different from your typical Saturday? Think about what you do, who you are with, rules you have to follow, etc.
  • Take a stand: Ask students to think about where they stand as to whether students in school should enjoy the same speech liberties as citizens in the public world. They should stand along the room in a spectrum divided by four different extremes: Students’ rights should be limited significantly in schools; Students’ rights should be limited in schools in many cases; Students’ speech rights should not be limited too much in schools, and only in certain cases; Students’ speech rights should NEVER be limited in schools.”
  • Jigsaw: Cases/op-eds about speech...summarizing/paraphrasing, evaluating/critiquing reasoning, etc… SCourt Cases: Tinker v. Des Moines, Frederick v. Morse, Bethel v. Fraser. Readings: Op-Eds, amicus briefs, global not just national?, Case law in contrast/comparison with op-eds. Resource : Concord Monitor ; hate speech and bullying law; dress codes and free speech (public decency laws); expression/Tinker; communicating a message through dress v. public decency.

  • Tinker v. Des Moines (1969)
  • Bethel v. Fraser (1986)
  • Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier (1988)
  • Frederick v. Morse (2007)
  • Articles, Op-Eds, School Policies, etc.

Materials and Documents

A large portion of my day is spent on video calls helping parents to teach their kids the right material. Because of all that I’m constantly looking for great online resources to share with the parents of the kids I work with and I came across your NH Civics page while looking up social studies resources. It’s been a great help and had a lot of great sites I could send the kids and their parents to for some extra material to work with. Just thought I should reach out and thank you for putting it all together!
- Thomas Johnson
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