First Amendment Center publishes book on students’ rights to free expression

TENNESSEE — The First Amendment Center, a nonprofitorganization advocating Americans’ right to free speech, has published a bookthat explores “the state of First Amendment rights of students in contemporarysociety.”The Silencing of Student Voices: Preserving Free Speech inAmerica’s Schools was written by David L. Hudson Jr., a research attorneywith the First Amendment Center, which is based in Nashville, Tenn. Thebook opens with the history of student rights in the United Sates and followswith a discussion of the major court cases involving student free speech andtheir implications for students today. Within the 100-page book, Hudson examines”zero tolerance” policies and how schools have attempted to regulate students’off-campus expression in the wake of the Columbine High School shootings. Thebook also includes chapters on student expression online, school-mandateduniforms, controversial symbols, elementary-aged students’ rights and the FirstAmendment rights of teachers. Students and parents also reflect on theirinvolvement in landmark First Amendment lawsuits, such as Tinker v. DesMoines Independent Community School District and Bethel School Districtv. Fraser. Hudson said it is important to educate students abouttheir rights, but it is more important to live in an environment where the FirstAmendment rights of students are respected.Hudson, a 1994 graduate ofVanderbilt Law School, is a member of the First Amendment Lawyers Associationand has written books for young people on the Bill of Rights and the 14thAmendment.To order the book, send an e-mail to puborder@freedomforum.organd include your mailing address and phone number or call 800-830-3733. The bookcosts $9.95.