PHILADELPHIA, September 17, 2013—The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is celebrating Constitution Day by launching a new high school curriculum to teach students about their individual rights before they head to college. Written in collaboration with the Bill of Rights Institute, the lesson plan, entitled The College Bill of Rights (PDF), supplies teachers with everything they need to engage high school students while educating them about the rights they have when they arrive on campus—and what to do if those rights are denied.
“Too many American students are entering and leaving college with no real idea of how their First Amendment rights protect them every day and in nearly every field of endeavor,” said FIRE Senior Vice President Robert Shibley. “As FIRE co-founder Alan Charles Kors says, ‘A nation that does not educate in liberty will not long preserve it, and will not even know when it is lost.’ Today, FIRE and the Bill of Rights Institute are taking another step towards ensuring that the United States will not become such a nation.”
To help reach high school students, FIRE and the Bill of Rights Institute have launched a mobile-optimized website, collegebillofrights.org, to accompany the lesson plan. Teachers, parents, and students may access the website and sign up for updates via smartphone by texting RIGHTS to 31996. Educators interested in using the lesson plan in their classrooms can download it for free and see related materials and resources. History and civics teachers are also encouraged to sign up to receive further free Bill of Rights Institute lesson plans or acquire FIRE’s Guides to Student Rights on Campus for their classrooms.
FIRE is a nonprofit educational foundation that unites civil rights and civil liberties leaders, scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals from across the political and ideological spectrum on behalf of individual rights, freedom of expression, academic freedom, due process, and rights of conscience at our nation’s colleges and universities. FIRE’s efforts to preserve liberty on campuses across America can be viewed atthefire.org.
The Bill of Rights Institute is a not for profit charity focused on providing educational resources on America’s Founding documents and principles for teachers and students of American History and Civics. The mission of the Bill of Rights Institute is to educate young people about the words and ideas of America’s Founders, the liberties guaranteed in our Founding documents, and how our Founding principles continue to affect and shape a free society.
Robert Shibley, Senior Vice President, FIRE: 215-717-3473; firstname.lastname@example.org
Michelle Griffes, Director for Education, Bill of Rights Institute: 703-894-1776 x15;email@example.com