Monday, January 31, 2005

Is Free Speech Important?

Research on the "Future of the First Amendment" found that of nearly 100,000 students surveyed, only 51% of students agreed that newspapers should be allowed to publish freely without government approval of stories.

Also, 83% of students compared with 98% of teachers and principals agree that people should be allowed to express unpopular opinions. One can only guess at what the other 17% think.

This raises a real alarm. As employers, we need a nation of thinkers and those who are not afraid to question.

Let's all do our best to raise awareness of the importance of the first amendment.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

3 Comments:

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's difficult to know whether these figures truly "raise an alarm." Would the 51% figure be perceived differently if the percentages had not changed in decades? Moreover, the study also suggests that public views fluctuate depending on the times. In the first few years after 9/11, the value of individual liberties was more heavily offset by security concerns. Such was likely also true during WWII. Finally, the statistics could also be interpreted as showing that as people grow older, their recognition and appreciation of civil liberties increases. We shouldn't expect our high school students, as a whole, to think the same way as adults. They have room to learn.

12:21 PM, July 31, 2007  

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