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off-camera reporter: One who gathers news for television but does not report on the air. News Reporting & Writing (Eighth Edition) by the Missouri Group. Copyright 2005. Reproduced by permission of Bedford/St. Martins.

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Lesson Plans

Student First Amendment Law: What the student can and cannot say

Rebecca A. Glenn of Athens High School in Athens, Ohio.

Rebecca A. Glenn
Athens High School
The Plains,Ohio

Title: Student First Amendment Law: What the student can and cannot say

Overview and Rationale

While many teenagers have very strong opinions, how they say them is still a fuzzy area. This lesson informs them of their rights and responsibilities as active members of their community.

Goals for understanding

  • Essential Questions:
    • Do students have First Amendment rights?
    • How can students say what they want to say?
  • Critical Engagement Questions:
    • How do Tinker and Hazelwood affect students’ everyday lives?
    • Should students have fewer or more free speech rights?

Resource / Materials

Overheads (and notes) with rulings of the important court cases. Worksheets to quiz students on concepts. See attached sheet.


With different scenarios, ask students if they are legally allowed to do/say each. Discuss

  • Explain libel
  • Explain invasion of privacy
  • Explain copyright law
  • Explain Tinker
  • Explain Hazelwood
  • Go back to scenarios (related article) – go through them again to see if they can or cannot identify the answers and what aspect of First Amendment Law the scenario is dealing with.

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