For faculty who study or teach courses on free expression and the First Amendment, FIRE’s resources provide a wealth of source material that can make a positive addition to any course syllabus or serve as valuable teaching and study aids. Built on FIRE’s 20-plus years of defending free expression at campuses nationwide, they offer a variety of perspectives and approaches on fundamental issues sure to enliven any classroom discussion.
For more information on these and other FIRE resources, faculty are invited to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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First Things First: A Modern Coursebook on Free Speech Fundamentals
Authored by attorneys and legal scholars Ronald K.L. Collins, Will Creeley, and David L. Hudson, Jr., FIRE released First Things First in 2019 to provide students and faculty an affordable, dynamic, and accessible primer on the First Amendment.
First Things First introduces readers to First Amendment issues related to topics such as student speech, freedom of the press, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, advertising, music censorship, and artificial intelligence. The electronic coursebook includes scores of audio and video links, photographs, and helpful study-aid summaries and questions. First Things First’s vibrant and engaging tone ensures readers will leave this book with a dynamic understanding of their rights and the value of free speech. And while the price of college textbooks continues to soar, First Things First is priced at just $2.99 — less than the cost of a latte. You can learn more about First Things First—including how faculty can get their own free copy—by following the link below.
FIRE’s Guide to Free Speech on Campus
A perfect primer on the First Amendment generally and as applied to higher education specifically, FIRE’s Guide to Free Speech on Campus has been integral to our educational efforts since it was first published in 2005 (the guide is currently in its second edition).
In addition to offering a brief primer on the modern history of the First Amendment, FIRE’s Guide to Free Speech on Campus focuses on free speech rulings that have affected the climate of free expression in higher education, including a comprehensive analysis of campus speech codes that undermine free speech protections. The guide includes numerous examples and case studies from FIRE’s work over the years, infusing its analysis with FIRE’s uniquely informed perspective. FIRE’s Guide to Free Speech on Campus — in addition to its guides on due process, religious liberty, thought reform, and student fees and funding — are available to students and faculty at no charge.
FIRE’s Online Tools
FIRE’s Spotlight Database
One of FIRE’s most longstanding and successful resources, the Spotlight database evaluates campus speech codes at more than 450 institutions of higher education around the United States, and its findings are regularly cited by scholars, journalists, and policy experts. Spotlight’s annual Spotlight on Speech Codes reports, dating back to 2006, provide a valuable glimpse of nationwide trends and changes in campus speech policies, informed by FIRE’s expert legal commentary.
FIRE’s First Amendment Library
Launched in 2016, FIRE’s First Amendment Library has proven an invaluable reference tool for students and faculty alike. In addition to holding the Supreme Court’s complete rulings on the First Amendment (helpfully broken down by the type of expressive right at issue), the First Amendment Library contains specially curated collections of legal scholarship, court documents from momentous First Amendment cases, overview essays, timelines, and more.
FIRE’s Case Archives
Our case archives, dating all the way back to FIRE’s founding, contain more than 20 years’ worth of primary documentation, FIRE communications and analyses, and collected coverage of violations of student and faculty free expression rights at hundreds of institutions around the country. For professors looking for valuable First Amendment case studies, our archives provide numerous extensively documented examples of how battles for free speech are fought, and won, on campus.
FIRE Survey Data
In recent years, FIRE has published multiple surveys documenting student attitudes on various aspects of campus life and free expression. In addition to our own published findings, FIRE welcomes analyses of the raw data by faculty, and the data can be downloaded from our website. For more information on FIRE’s surveys, click on the individual links below.