As millions of students and teachers adjust to virtual learning in response to the coronavirus pandemic, NCAC has launched its Virtual First Amendment Classroom.

The Virtual First Amendment Classroom offers teachers the opportunity to host virtual presentations from our staff of experts on free speech and the First Amendment. Created with curricular goals in mind, our sessions are interactive, offering a presentation of principles and relevant case examples and then asking students to examine how they would apply First Amendment principles to specific situations.

NCAC staff will work with teachers to tailor sessions to the needs of individual classrooms and levels of instruction (including specific content for AP US Government & Politics classes). The sessions range from basic principles like what is considered “speech” and when and how the government can control speech to nuanced conversations around student speech rights in schools and issues around offensive and hateful speech.

Discussions include

  • Can the President stop the publication of a book that he claims represents him unfairly?
  • Do students have to recite the Pledge of Allegiance?
  • Can students wear a Confederate flag t-shirt to school?
  • Can Facebook ban racist remarks?

Session topics available:

Free Speech Fundamentals Virtual Classroom Symbolic Speech Virtual Classroom History of Free Speech Rights in the US Virtual Classroom Offensive Speech Virtual Classroom Student Speech Rights Virtual Classroom Limits on Free Speech Virtual Classroom

Full details on NCAC’s Virtual Free Speech Classroom can be found here. Two sessions (Symbolic Speech and Limits on Free Speech) are specifically designed to address Essential Knowledge required in the AP Government curriculum, but all sessions can be adapted to specific teacher and student needs.

For more information or to schedule a session, please contact Gordon Danning at gordon@ncac.org.

Header graphic: American Flag Photo by Nate Pesce and the Fort George G. Meade Public Affairs Office is licensed under CC BY 2.0