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Free Speech

Free speech impacts more than just your ability to express your thoughts and ideas. It can affect the books you can access, the medical treatment you may (or may not) receive, and even influence how people think. From Galileo and his trial for heresy, to the First Amendment and the banning of books, this collection of videos and other educational materials is designed to explore the far-reaching (and often overlooked) power of free speech.

Teaching Units
Banned Books - Censored in School
Do you have the right to read anything and everything?
Comedy – More Than a Laugh
When does withholding your opinion/thoughts cross the line from a personal choice to being pressured into silence?
First Amendment
Who chooses how you can freely express yourself?
Ida B. Wells – The Light of Truth
At what point do you take a stand to defend the rights of others?
Life Behind the Berlin Wall
Would you be willing to risk it all for a better life?
Question Everything - The Scientific Method
What do you do when your opinion differs from experts or peers?
Read All About It!
Is the truth defined by your interpretation of facts and opinions?
Scopes - Curriculum on Trial
Do you have to accept what is being taught in schools?
Teachable Moments
Brandenburg v. Ohio
Does the First Amendment cover the hate speech of the Ku Klux Klan? That was tested in the 1969 Supreme Court case Brandenburg v. Ohio.
Common Sense – The Art of Persuasion
Many factors led to the American colonies declaring independence from Great Britain, one of the most important was Thomas Paine's pamphlet Common Sense.
Degenerate Art – Unfettered Creativity
Who gets to decide what art is "acceptable?" After WWI, Weimar Germany encouraged artistic risks and innovation. But the rise of the Nazi Party and failed artist Adolf Hitler dramatically changed things.
Digital Literacy
The Information Age has produced so much information at our fingertips - but how can we tell the good from the bad, the real from the fake?
Fake Town - Propaganda
One-upmanship. Propaganda. It's a game that's been going on between North Korea and South Korea for some time now.
Galileo – Reach for the Stars
Galileo Galilei helped prove that the earth revolves around the sun. In doing so, he was sentenced as a heretic.
George Orwell
George Orwell wrote extensively on the idea of totalitarianism. Many phrases he coined have become the go-to words to describe propaganda and repression.
Gutenberg Press
A book used to take years to be hand scribed. Then the printing press made books faster, cheaper, and available to more people. And that changed the world.
McCarthyism's Cancel Culture
In the 1950s, the Red Scare and the hunt for communists was at its height, driven by Senator Joseph McCarthy. Eventually, he fell from grace, and the witch hunt ended, but not before leading to the canceling of many people's careers.
Reading Matters
Reading is important and can change your life! Hear how it shaped the life of economist Thomas Sowell.
Stasi - Suppressing Freedom
After WWII, Eastern Germany lived in a surveillance state. "Big Brother" (Stasi spies) was everywhere.
Learning Module
First Amendment
Why and how did we get a Bill of Rights? Which rights does the First Amendment cover? Why do they matter just as much (or maybe more) today? This interactive, online course will explain, enlighten, and entertain.