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Future of the First Amendment: What America’s High School Students Think About Their Freedoms A Presentation Summarizing the 2005 Study John S. and James.

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Presentation on theme: "Future of the First Amendment: What America’s High School Students Think About Their Freedoms A Presentation Summarizing the 2005 Study John S. and James."— Presentation transcript:

1 Future of the First Amendment: What America’s High School Students Think About Their Freedoms A Presentation Summarizing the 2005 Study John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, University of Connecticut Prepared by J-Ideas

2 The First Amendment “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” --- Amendment 1 of the Constitution of the United States of America --- Amendment 1 of the Constitution of the United States of America

3 LARGEST PROJECT OF ITS KIND

4 About the Research The University of Connecticut’s Center for Survey Research and Analysis conducted the study, the largest ever of its kind. The University of Connecticut’s Center for Survey Research and Analysis conducted the study, the largest ever of its kind. David Yalof and Kenneth Dautrich were principal investigators. Erin St. Onge was project manager. David Yalof and Kenneth Dautrich were principal investigators. Erin St. Onge was project manager. The study was conducted in April/ May 2004 at 544 high schools, and was designed to be representative of all private and public schools. The study was conducted in April/ May 2004 at 544 high schools, and was designed to be representative of all private and public schools.

5 Why Conduct the Study “Civic education is crucial to developing well-informed and responsible citizens. By surveying students across the country as to their awareness and appreciation of First Amendment rights, the Knight Foundation has provided a timely window into this important and often overlooked aspect of the educational process.” “Civic education is crucial to developing well-informed and responsible citizens. By surveying students across the country as to their awareness and appreciation of First Amendment rights, the Knight Foundation has provided a timely window into this important and often overlooked aspect of the educational process.” --- Kenneth Dautrich, Chairman of Connecticut’s Department of Public Policy --- Kenneth Dautrich, Chairman of Connecticut’s Department of Public Policy

6 Research Shows High Schools Leave First Amendment Behind 2-year, $1 million research project commissioned by the Knight Foundation and conducted by the Uconn Center for Survey Research and Analysis. 2-year, $1 million research project commissioned by the Knight Foundation and conducted by the Uconn Center for Survey Research and Analysis. Survey of 100,000 high school students, 8,000 teachers and more than 500 administrators and principals. Survey of 100,000 high school students, 8,000 teachers and more than 500 administrators and principals. Key finding: Educators are not giving students an appreciation of freedom of speech and a free press. Key finding: Educators are not giving students an appreciation of freedom of speech and a free press.

7 ‘Results Are Not Only Disturbing; They Are Dangerous’ “These results are not only disturbing; they are dangerous. Ignorance about the basics of this free society is as much a danger to its future as any terrorist plot.” “These results are not only disturbing; they are dangerous. Ignorance about the basics of this free society is as much a danger to its future as any terrorist plot.” --- Hodding Carter III, Chairman and CEO, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation --- Hodding Carter III, Chairman and CEO, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

8 STUDY HIGHLIGHTS

9 Major Highlights Nearly 75% of high school students surveyed either do not know how they feel about the First Amendment or admit they take it for granted. Nearly 75% of high school students surveyed either do not know how they feel about the First Amendment or admit they take it for granted. 75% erroneously think flag-burning is illegal. 75% erroneously think flag-burning is illegal. 50% believe the government can censor the Internet. 50% believe the government can censor the Internet. More than a third think the First Amendment goes too far in the rights it guarantees. More than a third think the First Amendment goes too far in the rights it guarantees. Survey suggests that First Amendment rights would be known if they were classroom staples. Survey suggests that First Amendment rights would be known if they were classroom staples.

10 But They Are Not! 21% of all high schools have no student media whatsoever. 21% of all high schools have no student media whatsoever. Of schools that do not offer papers, 40% have eliminated them in the last five years. Of schools that do not offer papers, 40% have eliminated them in the last five years. Principals say journalism is a priority for their school, but only 20 percent think it is a high priority, and 33 percent say it is not a priority at all. Principals say journalism is a priority for their school, but only 20 percent think it is a high priority, and 33 percent say it is not a priority at all.

11 Importance of the First Amendment: ‘Like the monument you never visit’ “The First Amendment is the cornerstone of our democratic society. Unfortunately, young people don’t live it enough. It becomes like the granite monument in the park that you never visit.” “The First Amendment is the cornerstone of our democratic society. Unfortunately, young people don’t live it enough. It becomes like the granite monument in the park that you never visit.” --- Sandy Woodcock, Director, Newspaper Association of American Foundation --- Sandy Woodcock, Director, Newspaper Association of American Foundation

12 Importance of the First Amendment: ‘Give a meaningful voice’ “The biggest obstacle to practicing First Amendment principles is the undemocratic, repressive way in which many schools are run. If schools want to take the First Amendment seriously, they must give students and all members of the school community a meaningful voice in shaping the life of the school.” “The biggest obstacle to practicing First Amendment principles is the undemocratic, repressive way in which many schools are run. If schools want to take the First Amendment seriously, they must give students and all members of the school community a meaningful voice in shaping the life of the school.” --- Charles Haynes, Senior Scholar, First Amendment Ctr. --- Charles Haynes, Senior Scholar, First Amendment Ctr.

13 WHAT CAN BE DONE

14 Some Encouraging Results The more students are exposed to the First Amendment and use of news media in the classroom, and the more they are involved in student journalism, the greater their appreciation of First Amendment rights of American citizens. The more students are exposed to the First Amendment and use of news media in the classroom, and the more they are involved in student journalism, the greater their appreciation of First Amendment rights of American citizens.

15 Ideas from Scholastic Media Experts Encourage more and better student media. Encourage more and better student media. Focus on principals and administrators. Focus on principals and administrators. Involve professional editors as mentors. Involve professional editors as mentors. Address teaching standards and core curricula nationally and state-by-state. Address teaching standards and core curricula nationally and state-by-state. In short, revive the civic mission of schools. In short, revive the civic mission of schools.

16 ‘Start From The Top Down’ “Support for the teaching of student media and First Amendment has to come from the top down, from the superintendent of schools to the principal to the adviser to the student. Too often the newspaper adviser is ‘the new kid on the block’ who is far more interested in getting tenure than rocking the boat.” “Support for the teaching of student media and First Amendment has to come from the top down, from the superintendent of schools to the principal to the adviser to the student. Too often the newspaper adviser is ‘the new kid on the block’ who is far more interested in getting tenure than rocking the boat.” --- Rich Holden, Executive Director, Dow Jones Newspaper Fund --- Rich Holden, Executive Director, Dow Jones Newspaper Fund

17 ‘A Call to Action’ “The report is a call to action. Scholastic media training organizations must also focus on principals and administrators. They can make or break programs. Let’s develop for-credit courses in the student media and First Amendment and tailor them for the principals. This would show them how they can balance all their concerns AND encourage student media and expression.” “The report is a call to action. Scholastic media training organizations must also focus on principals and administrators. They can make or break programs. Let’s develop for-credit courses in the student media and First Amendment and tailor them for the principals. This would show them how they can balance all their concerns AND encourage student media and expression.” --- Warren Watson, Director, J-Ideas --- Warren Watson, Director, J-Ideas

18 ‘Build and Nurture Quality Media “One effective remedy is to build and nurture quality student media that operates freely and without censorship. Media by and for students engages the school community. It is democracy in action.” “One effective remedy is to build and nurture quality student media that operates freely and without censorship. Media by and for students engages the school community. It is democracy in action.” --- Diana Mitsu Klos, Senior Project Director, American Society of Newspaper Editors high school project --- Diana Mitsu Klos, Senior Project Director, American Society of Newspaper Editors high school project

19 RESOURCES

20 Scholastic Journalism Resources: Helping You Protect First Amendment in Schools ASNE: American Society of Newspaper Editors ASNE: American Society of Newspaper Editors ---www.highschooljournalism.org ---www.highschooljournalism.org SPLC: Student Press Law Center SPLC: Student Press Law Center ---www.splc.org ---www.splc.org First Amendment Center First Amendment Center ---www.firstamendmentcenter.org ---www.firstamendmentcenter.org Radio and Television News Directors Foundation Radio and Television News Directors Foundation Journalism Education Association Journalism Education Association ---www.jea.org ---www.jea.org

21 Other Resources: J-Ideas High School Initiative at Ball State Home to the Future of the First Amendment project. Home to the Future of the First Amendment project. Check for updates and resource tools. Check for updates and resource tools. A program dedicated to scholastic journalism and First Amendment awareness. A program dedicated to scholastic journalism and First Amendment awareness.

22 J-Ideas Website:

23 What’s at Stake? “What kind of citizens do we want in 10 or 20 or 30 years? Do we want citizens who will blindly accept whatever the government tells them, or do we want a citizenry that expects the government to operate openly and transparently?” “What kind of citizens do we want in 10 or 20 or 30 years? Do we want citizens who will blindly accept whatever the government tells them, or do we want a citizenry that expects the government to operate openly and transparently?” --- Barbara Thill, Publications Adviser, Journalism Teacher, Chicago --- Barbara Thill, Publications Adviser, Journalism Teacher, Chicago

24 For More Consult the study’s web site: Consult the study’s web site: THANKS! THANKS!


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