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The First Amendment in High School Essay example

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What is the age that a person should be able to claim rights under the first amendment? The first thing would come to most people's mind is eighteen. However, upon examination, someone could easily justify that a sixteen year old who is in his or her second year of college would have the ability to form an opinion and should be allowed to express it. What makes this student different from another student who, at sixteen, drops out of school and gets a job, or a student who decides to wear a shirt that says "PRO-CHOICE" on it? While these students differ in many aspects such as education level, their opinion can equally be silenced under the first amendment. One of the most blatant abuses of the first amendment right to free speech is the regulation certain High Schools make of the dress code. These schools go to the extreme, such as Serrano High School banning the wearing of any hat unless it bears the school logo, and these restrictions take advantage of the students' inability to use the first amendment to defend their main form of expression. High School students are old enough to claim the first amendment and should be allowed to defend their right to free expression in a civil and reasoned manner. If the students think that the reasons the school board gives for a restriction are inadequate, they should be allowed to present their argument to school board officials.

The law in California has a funny way of shifting age requirements for certain privileges. A person at age sixteen is deemed old enough to use their judgment in maneuvering a two-ton bullet on four tiny rubber wheels at seventy miles an hour on the freeway, but do not have the judgment to express their opinion on an issue. If a person can form an o...


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...that while High School students are expected to form their own individual opinions about controversial subjects, they are penalized when they try to express their opinion in the only way the have.

High School Students, just as College Students or Adults have the right to express an idea they feel strongly about in a way that is accessible to them. High School students who can reason an argument for their right to express an opinion should be allowed to express it. School boards and students should make attempts to integrate a High School Student into the "real world" as quickly and as accurately as possible, and the ability to fight for a freedom or cause is one of the most important societal values they can learn. Students that grow up and become adults without knowing how to fight for their freedoms are the same as adults in a society with no freedoms at all.


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