Future of the First Amendment: 2011 Survey of High School Students and Teachers

Future of the First Amendment: 2011 Survey of High School Students and Teachers

High school students who frequently seek news and information through social media are more likely to support freedom of speech, a report from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation finds. Based on a survey of more than twelve thousand high school students and nine hundred teachers, Future of the First Amendment: 2011 Survey of High School Students and Teachers (48 pages, PDF) found that 91 percent of students who use social media on a daily basis to get news and information agree that "people should be allowed to express unpopular opinions," compared with 77 percent of those who never do. According to the report, the percentage of those who believe that the First Amendment goes "too far in the rights it guarantees" fell from 45 percent in 2006 to 24 percent in 2011 among students and from 33 percent to 25 percent among teachers. And while only 36 percent of teachers agree that students should be allowed to express their opinions about teachers and administrators on Facebook freely and 49 percent believe that social media harms student learning, 93 percent feel that digital media literacy should be part of the curriculum.

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