The First Amendment & Campus Speech: Navigating Your Rights

Since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war on Oct. 7, colleges and universities across the country have been embroiled in conflict, with demonstrations from pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli groups bringing tensions on campus to new heights. As of May 17, more than 2,960 people have been arrested on the campuses of 60 colleges and universities since April 18. We've compiled our campus speech educational materials, coverage and other resources here.

A state trooper pepper sprays pro-Palestinian protesters, during the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, after police vehicles were blocked at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas, April 29, 2024. (Aaron E. Martinez/American-Statesman/USA Today Network via Reuters)
A state trooper pepper sprays pro-Palestinian protesters, during the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, after police vehicles were blocked at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas, April 29, 2024. (Aaron E. Martinez/American-Statesman/USA Today Network via Reuters)

The First Amendment & Campus Speech: Navigating Your Rights

Since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war on Oct. 7, colleges and universities across the country have been embroiled in conflict, with demonstrations from pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli groups bringing tensions on campus to new heights. As of May 17, more than 2,960 people have been arrested on the campuses of 60 colleges and universities since April 18. We've compiled our campus speech educational materials, coverage and other resources here.

Teacher Guides:

First Amendment Watch provides a variety of lesson plans on First Amendment principles. We designed them so that you can easily incorporate them into your courses on media law, the First Amendment, journalism reporting and writing, history, and politics. All our educational materials are free to download.

Teacher & Citizen Guides

Recording Video and Audio of Police Officers

READ MORE

Teacher Guide

The Right to Peacefully Assemble

READ MORE

The Wider Image: El Paso attack upends white nationalist normalization plan

Teacher Guide

Speech Not Protected by the First Amendment

READ MORE

Educational Video Resources:

campus videos

Video Series created in partnership with FIRE:

Frequently Asked Questions on Basic Free Speech Principles

READ MORE

right to record police

In-Depth Video:

The First Amendment and the Right to Record Police

READ MORE

Campus Speech Modules:

First Amendment Watch, in partnership with the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, has developed a series of modules universities can use to teach students about free speech rights and the principles behind the First Amendment.

College students protest on University of Michigan campus

created in partnership with FIRE:

Campus Speech Modules

READ MORE

More Resources:

FIRE logo

From the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression:

Unprotected Speech Synopsis

READ MORE

From The aclu:

Open Letter to College and University Presidents on Student Protests

READ MORE

From PEN America:

Guide to Combatting Campus Protest Mis/Disinformation

READ MORE

From FIRE’s Will Creeley:

As Campuses Reel, A Reminder of the First Amendment’s Boundaries

READ MORE

Campus Protest Coverage:

Protests continue at Columbia University in New York during the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas

Up-to-date coverage:

Campus Speech

READ MORE

Deep Dive:

A Recent History of Free Speech on College and University Campuses

READ MORE

Q&A:

FIRE’s Will Creeley on Campus Speech Controversies Amid Israel-Hamas War

READ MORE