Sunday, January 30, 2005

"First Amendment No Big Deal,Students Say." , By BEN FELLER AP Education Writer

This article below about how American High School students dismiss the First Amendment as too broad & granting too much freedom , is quite distressing.

However I would not be surprised if a poll of adults turned out any different. Most American Citizens, [or at least most that i know] , fail to grasp the most basic principles that are the foundation of our free society.

As Hodding Carter III is quoted below : "Ignorance about the basics of this free society is a danger to our nation's future." A very true and important concept. You cannot protect rights you do not understand!

The first Amendment is America's first defense against tyranny rising from within our own boarders.

Those who think "it can't happen here" should read the book with that title by Sinclair Lewis or Philip Roth's latest "The Plot Against America".

The rights embodied in the First Ten Amendments of the American Constitution are what separate our Democracy from Dictatorships.

During the 1960's , Free Speech was an "it" thing among the kids.
Will the 2000's be the decade of peer-pressured - constrained speech ?
A country where the legal entitlement of first amendment rights are so generally misunderstood, that they will be asserted less and less by the general population?

Remember Big Corporations & Rich People are ALWAYS excreting -- and are always looking to expand--- their constitutional rights & powers.~~~~
~~~~ TP

Monday, January 31, 2005 4:01 p.m. ET

By BEN FELLER AP Education Writer
"First Amendment No Big Deal,Students Say."

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The way many high school students see it, government censorship of newspapers may not be a bad thing, and flag burning is hardly protected free speech.

It turns out the First Amendment is a second-rate issue to many of those nearing their own adult independence, according to a study of high school attitudes released Monday.

The original amendment to the Constitution is the cornerstone of the way of life in the United States, promising citizens the freedoms of religion, speech, press and assembly.

Yet, when told of the exact text of the First Amendment, more than one in three high school students said it goes "too far" in the rights it guarantees. Only half of the students said newspapers should be allowed to publish freely without government approval of stories.

"These results are not only disturbing; they are dangerous," said Hodding Carter III, president of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which sponsored the $1 million study. "Ignorance about the basics of this free society is a danger to our nation's future."

"The last 15 years have not been a golden era for student media," said Warren Watson, director of the J-Ideas project at Ball State University in Indiana. "Programs are under siege or dying from neglect. Many students do not get the opportunity to practice our basic freedoms."

On the Net:

Future of the First Amendment report: