Search Menu


This site is available only to JEA members. Please log in below.

SPLC Media Law Presentation: Press Freedom


Students will be exposed briefly to many of the topics we will be discussing in this unit including: role of the free press, censorship, First Amendment, difference in public and private school law, several law cases and unprotected speech.


  • Students will learn the basics of several of the lessons included in the unit.
  • Students will examine the arguments for and against a free press.
  • Students will be exposed to several of the more predominate cases involving student free press.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.8 Delineate and evaluate the reasoning in seminal U.S. texts, including the application of constitutional principles and use of legal reasoning (e.g., in U.S. Supreme Court majority opinions and dissents) and the premises, purposes, and arguments in works of public advocacy (e.g., The Federalist, presidential addresses).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.9 Analyze seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century foundational U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (including The Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address) for their themes, purposes, and rhetorical features.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.


45-60 minutes


Slideshow: Press freedom

Slideshow with teacher discussion notes

Handout: Press freedom student worksheet

Teacher answer key: Press freedom student worksheet

Lesson step-by-step

1. Slideshow — 45-50 minutes

Go through the SPLC slideshow. Use the teacher notes as talking points for instruction.

(Hand out student worksheet that students will complete during the slideshow.)

2. Exit slip — 5 minutes

On the exit slip, write down one fact that surprised you and something you want to learn more about during the unit.

(Teacher should look at these after the students leave. These could become discussion points as the unit progresses — especially if the teacher has extra time at the end of a class.)