How important is free speech, really?

Students think the First Amendment is overrated and “goes too far.”

Jan. 31, 2005  |  WASHINGTON (AP) – The way many high school students see it, government censorship of newspapers may not be a bad thing, and flag burning is hardly protected free speech. It turns out the First Amendment is a second-rate issue to many of those nearing their own adult independence, according to a study of high school attitudes released Monday.
The original amendment to the Constitution is the cornerstone of the way of life in the United States, promising citizens the freedoms of religion, speech, press and assembly.

Yet, when told of the exact text of the First Amendment, more than one in three high school students said it goes “too far” in the rights it guarantees. Only half of the students said newspapers should be allowed to publish freely without government approval of stories.

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