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Teacher Guides

First Amendment Watch Teacher Guide: Balancing The Right To A Fair Trial With The Right Of A Free Press

To view this and other teacher guides, please fill out this form. All resources on www.FirstAmendmentWatch.org are free and permitted […]

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First Amendment Watch Teacher Guide: Recording Video and Audio of Police Officers

To view this and other teacher guides, please fill out this form. All resources on www.FirstAmendmentWatch.org are free and permitted […]

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First Amendment Watch Teacher Guide: Can First Amendment Defenses Save Provocateur Alex Jones From The Sandy Hook Libel Suits?

Alex Jones and his website Infowars made repeated claims that the 2012 murder of 20 children and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut was a “giant hoax,” possibly instigating a number of his followers to harass the families of the victims. Does the First Amendment protect Alex Jones’ speech?

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First Amendment Watch Teacher Guide: Prior Restraints—and the Threat of Printable 3-D Guns

Startling advances in technology raise free speech and press issues in ways that we could not have anticipated even ten years ago. Such is the case with 3-D printable guns—handguns that people can manufacture at home using a software code and a special printer that makes three-dimensional objects. Printing guns at home can evade laws intended to keep guns out of the hands of unauthorized people. The plastic guns would be untraceable, and federal law prohibits guns that are undetectable by walk-through metal detection scanners at airports and other security checkpoints. If that’s the case, can the government prohibit the posting of computer code that makes possible the printing of guns?

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First Amendment Watch Teacher Guide: Why is James Madison’s Defense of Freedom of the Press Critical Today?

The press is under attack from many public officials as well as private citizens writing on their blogs and Twitter accounts. President Donald Trump, for one, has accused some news organizations of publishing “fake news” about his administration. Although he may be unusually vociferous in attacking journalists, public officials of all political stripes throughout American history have complained about the press when they are targets of criticism. This is an opportune time for educators to reach back to James Madison for what may be the most powerful defense of freedom of the press written by any American.

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First Amendment Watch Teacher Guide: How are NFL Protests Related to Symbolic Speech and the First Amendment?

Symbolic speech as a form of protest, like taking a knee at a football game while others stand for the National Anthem, enjoys a long history in America. It’s been a powerful form of political expression going back to the protests in the colonies in the 1760s against British oppression. The NFL protests—players taking a knee during the playing of the National Anthem before NFL games—provides an extraordinary opportunity for teaching about the law and history of the First Amendment.

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First Amendment Watch Teacher Guide: Can Public Officials Block Critics from Their Social Media Accounts Consistent with the First Amendment?

Today’s students are growing up connected – tweeting, live streaming, posting on a seeming 24-7 cycle. The many controversies involving Facebook, Twitter, and other social media provide an excellent opportunity to teach First Amendment principles in a relatable way. President Donald Trump’s blocking of some critics from his Twitter account, @realDonaldTrump, is one such opportunity to engage students in the First Amendment.

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