PRESS RELEASE: Center launches new First Amendment quiz

For Immediate Release

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Student Press Law Center and the Newspaper Association of America Foundation today announced the launch of “Test Your Knowledge of the First Amendment,” the third part in their 2005 series of interactive projects for student journalists and journalism educators.

“Test Your Knowledge of the First Amendment” is a Web-based tool that will help young journalists, their advisers and their classmates better understand our first freedom. Through a series of questions based on historical facts and court rulings, the “Test Your Knowledge of the First Amendment” feature allows users to assess their understanding of some of the rights in our Constitution. The user-friendly quiz is fast-paced and stripped of complicated “legalese.” It is designed to bring the Constitution to life while touching on controversial issues of the day.

Such a tool could hardly be more timely. Research indicates that far too many of our youngest citizens are woefully unprepared to assume their roles as informed, participating members of our democracy. Even fewer seem to have an appreciation for some of our most cherished freedoms. For example, over a third of high school students recently surveyed by the University of Connecticut felt that the First Amendment “goes too far” in the rights it guarantees. Another 20 percent said they “didn’t know.”

Whether the topic is freedom of speech, freedom of the press or freedom of religion, students (and their teachers) using “Test Your Knowledge of the First Amendment” can learn how much they know about the First Amendment and be directed to additional resources for more information.

Among the issues the “Test Your Knowledge of First Amendment” questions raise:

  • Do students and teachers have the right to discuss religion in public schools?
  • What categories of speech are not protected by the First Amendment?
  • At what age do the protections of the First Amendment begin to apply?
  • Can the government ban song lyrics that most people find offensive?
  • Does the First Amendment prohibit student dress codes?

The quiz, which takes only about ten minutes to complete, can be found by clicking the image below.

Previous 2005 SPLC/NAA Foundation projects include:

An online quiz that tests student journalists and journalism educators on common legal issues facing student media, such as libel, censorship, freedom of information and copyright law.

A one-of-a-kind, interactive online resource that conducts an “interview” with student journalists to help them find information on a variety of media law questions.

  • Contact Mark Goodman, Executive Director, Student Press Law Center, 703/807-1904

The Student Press Law Center is a national, non-profit, non-partisan organization established in 1974 to promote and preserve the free expression rights of student journalists.