The First Amendment - Ector County Independent School District

The First Amendment
Part of being a journalist is to understand the laws that you must abide by. The
First Amendment protects the rights of the journalist, but that right must also be
regulated. Court cases have been held regarding the First Amendment to help decide the
limitations students have.
In teams of two, you will reenact a court case that deals with Freedom of Speech
and Freedom of the Press, either defending or prosecuting the case. The rest of the class
will be the judges and audience, and they will decide which side to agree with. As a
team, you will research the case and each of you will write a report to go along with the
trial. Also, two students acting as judges will be informed of the case to investigate to
come up with questions for the presenters to answer.
The court cases to choose from are:
 Board of Education, Island Trees Union Free School District No. 26 v. Pico
 Mt. Healthy City School District Board of Education v. Doyle
 Pickering v. Board of Education
 Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union
 Klein v. Smith, 635 F. Supp. 1440
 West v. Derby Unified School District no. 260
 J.S. v. Bethlehem Area School District
 Lacks v. Ferguson Reorganized School District R-2
 Thomas v. Board of Ed. V. Granville Cent. Sch. Dist
 Saxe v. State College Area School District
 Pyle v. School Committee of South Hadley
 Henerey v. City of St Charles
 Beussink v. Woodland R-IV School District
The grading of the assignment will consist of:
1st Grade:
 Research paper- There must be a minimum of three sources for the report, one
preferably a newspaper article of the case or a related case. The paper must be a
minimum of 1 ½ pages, double spaced, with one inch margins. A third page will
be required for the works cited page. The two people in the group can work on
their papers together, but each will turn in their own work.
2nd Grade:
 Case Presentation- With the information gathered for the research paper, form a
case either for the school system or the people that went against it. Your partner
will oppose you. You want to come up with how to present your side in 1 ½ to 3
minutes, and you will get a chance to counter the opposing argument. The more
you coordinate with your partner, and the more involved in the case they are, the
more fun and interesting it tends to be.
Time will be given in class to work on the project, but a majority of the work will have to
be done outside of the classroom. The room and your teacher will be available for use
before school, after school, and during lunch, to meet your needs.