I agree with Ashley that we are not taught enough about the first amendment, or any of the amendments of the Constitution, for that matter. The statistics Ashley quoted are quite sad: 75 percent of people think it is illegal to burn our flag (not true); over 80 percent think that unpopular opinions should not be expressed; one-third think the press has too much freedom.
Every American has those rights as granted by the Constitution and should be able to write what they want in a newspaper without government permission. The government should not alter this amendment and citizens should learn more so they’ll know when their rights are in danger.
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation should do this study again every year to find out if teens are learning more about the Constitution and their government. Great article, Ashley!
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.