October 13, 2007
Most HS Students Aren't Aware That Constitution Day Exists
"Three years after a new federal law took effect requiring schools to educate all students about the Constitution and the First Amendment, a new survey shows that a majority of America’s students aren’t even aware that Constitution Day exists.
This year’s “Future of the First Amendment” follow-up survey, funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and done by the University of Connecticut’s David Yalof and Ken Dautrich, revealed these key findings:
- More than half of all high school students say they have not heard of Constitution Day, mandated by federal law since 2004 to be the day the Constitution is taught in schools. Just 1 in 10 remember how their high school celebrated the day last year.
- Despite increases in the number of First Amendment classes from 2004 through 2006, nearly three-fourths of students still don’t know how they feel about the First Amendment, or take it for granted.
- Students support individual free expression rights that directly affect or interest them; they’re less supportive of rights that are less relevant to their lives.
- Parents, not teachers, have the greatest influence on students’ choice of news sources.
- More students are turning to the Internet to find their news. Their definition of news isn’t much different than that of their parents.
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