The First Amendment in the Classroom and Beyond

December 21, 2007

Gene Policinski of the First Amendment Center has a piece in the Courier Post Online about the state of the First Amendment at the end of 2007. He writes:

As 2007 draws to a close, the meaning and application of a 216-year-old amendment to the U.S. Constitution protecting our basic liberties are issues as contentious as ever.

From presidential politics to local classrooms to our television screens, as a nation we are arguing ever more over the fine points of the simple 45 words of the First Amendment, adopted Dec. 15, 1791, protecting freedoms of religion, speech, press, assembly and petition.

Policinski goes on to discuss numerous First Amendment issues currently pending in the courts, relating to speech in the classroom and beyond. He concludes:

More than two centuries ago, Americans debated whether or not the First Amendment (and the rest of the Bill of Rights) really was necessary to determine personal freedoms in a new nation.As we go into 2008, it would seem that at least that debate is settled. Now we have another new year to get the details right.