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Survey Finds High School Students are Protective Over First Amendment

Survey Finds High School Students Are Protective Over First Amendment

What do students think of their rights? According to a recent survey, they are more than protective of their First Amendment rights. 

The Knight Foundation, who conducted the study, found that only 24 percent of U.S. high schoolers agree with the statement "The First Amendment goes too far," according to an article on This contrasts with 38 percent of U.S. teachers who feel that way. 

Students, the article said, "indicated their rising support for the First Amendment in other ways in the poll."

"For example, 61 percent said that newspapers should be able to publish whatever they like without government approval, up from just 51 percent a decade ago," the article said. "Similarly, 90 percent said there should be an absolute right to express unpopular opinions; as recently as 2007 only 76 percent thought as such."

Younger students also value different rights more than others, the article said. When students were asked which of the First Amendment's protections are most important, 65 percent of high schools said freedom of speech was "more important," followed by freedom of religion at 25 percent. Teachers saw freedom of religion as "the most important right" with 42 percent, followed by 40 percent "valuing speech most highly."

"The major shift could reflect that today’s high-schoolers are the first to grow up with the Internet as an integral component of their entire lives," the article said. "Students were more likely to believe in the First Amendment if they were avid users of social media, mobile devices, and other trappings of modern technology."

Read the full story. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor

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