Constitution Day is Tuesday, Sept. 17

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Tuesday is Constitution Day.

It’s an important week to publish one of MPA’s youth features teaching about the Constitution, write an editorial, or even visit local classrooms to talk about the First Amendment.

Need a nudge?

A study released by the First Amendment Center in July found that 34 percent of Americans say the First Amendment goes too far in the rights it guarantees, double the previous year and the largest single-year increase in the history of the State of the First Amendment national survey.

The Knight Foundation has been surveying high school students since 2004 because, as the future of public opinion, young people “are the real overseers of the future of the First Amendment.”

In 2006, the Future of the First Amendment survey found:

•1 in 3 high school students say the First Amendment goes “too far” in the rights in guarantees.
•Only 50 percent of high school students say newspapers should be allowed to publish freely without government censorship.
•Students lack knowledge and understanding of the key aspects of the First Amendment.

In 2007, the study discovered that despite a 2005 Federal law mandating that public schools teach about our founding document on Sept. 17, the majority of American students weren’t even aware that Constitution Day exists.

In 2011, the Knight Foundation study found that education about our nation’s founding document helped increase appreciation for the First Amendment.

In partnership with The Missouri Bar, MPA has just released our fifth feature teaching about the Constitution. All of these can be downloaded at www.mo-nie.com using download code: constitution.

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