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Students and the Supreme Court: Freedom of Speech, Religion, and Assembly

Freedom of Speech.  Freedom of Religion.  Freedom of Assembly.  These are not just words on a page.  These are living, breathing principles upon which this country is based.  These are not just for adults but they apply to all citizens of the United States.  Students just like you have brought about many federal court cases over the years that have to do with these same principles.  You are to research the following cases and decide how they apply to you.

1. As pre-test, have the students take the First Amendment 101 Challenge and have each write down their score.  It can be found at  http://www.firstamendmentschools.org/firstamendment101/
2. Pick two of the following cases that have gone to the Supreme Court. See "Summmaries of Court Decisions" to help you decide.

Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier
Lee v. Weisman
Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe
New Jersey v. T.L.O.
Board of Education, Island Trees, Union Free School District #26 v. PICO
Tinker v. Des Moines
West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette
Engel v. Vitale
Goss v. Lopez
Board of Education of Independent School District #92 of Pottawatomie
County v. Earls
Frederick v Morse

3. Pick one of the following cases that are district or appeals’ court cases. See "Summmaries of Court Decisions" to help you decide. 

Boroff v. Van Wert City Board of Education
Canady v. Bossier Parish School Board
Cole v. Oroville Union School District
Karr v. Schmidt
West v. Derby Unified School District No. 260
Oleson v. Board of Education of School Dist. No. 228
Broussard v. School Board of the City of Norfolk
Bivens v Albuquerque Public Schools
Jenglin v San Jacinto Unified School District

4. Complete Written responses to the following questions, using the worksheet included with this lesson.
Use the following resources to answer the questions:
a. Year case was decided.
b. What was the central issue (speech, religion, etc)
c. Facts of the case
d. Decision of the court 
e. Arguments for why it was decided that way.
f. How does this decision affect you at your school?
5. Draw/print/color a poster that illustrates one of the cases you wrote about and what freedom applies to the case.
6. Students make presentations to the class on what they found out.
7. As a post-test, have the students take the First Amendment 101 Challenge again, write down their scores, and compare with their previous score.  It can be found at  http://www.firstamendmentschools.org/
You will be evaluated on accuracy, thoroughness of answers, presentation, poster, and participation.  
Lesson created by Todd Miller


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