Support For First Amendment Grows Among American Students

Support for the rights the First Amendment guarantees Americans is growing among high school aged students, according to the latest edition of a bi-annual tracking study conducted by the Knight Foundation.

With the exception of students of color and girls, the average and all other segments of high school students indicate they disagree more with the statement "The First Amendment Goes Too Far In Its Rights And Guarantees" than any other time in the 14 years its been tracking it.



"These patterns are roughly consistent with those observed among college-age students," the report's authors note, adding, "More research on underlying causes must be done to understand this, although the contentious cultural and political atmosphere during the 2016 election and after — characterized by emboldened anti-immigrant, misogynistic and ethnic nationalist rhetoric — certainly would be a plausible explanation. As high-profile events such as the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017 and the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, in August 2019 (at least one of which was linked to white supremacy) play out, a reaction to the structure of the public sphere might be expected among marginalized, nonwhite, and non-male-identifying groups."

Editor's Note: This story has been updated from an earlier version that incorrectly transposed the meaning of the chart and data.

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