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How disruptive is too disruptive? Debate Comparison Header Image
Debate Comparison

Pushing the Limits of Protest

Americans continue to debate what forms of expression should be protected by the law or tolerated by society. Men burning draft cards during the Vietnam War and recent protests to silence controversial speakers on college campuses have prompted courts and citizens to reconsider First Amendment protections.

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Duration
60-90 minutes
Topic(s)
  • Constitution
  • Current Events
  • Protests
  • Supreme Court
  • Vietnam War
Grade(s)
  • 7-12
  • College/University

You're Exploring Free Speech Essentials

How disruptive is too disruptive?

HISTORICAL ORIGINS
Magazine Depicts Draft Cards on Fire, 1967 teaser
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1966: Free Speech on Fire?

Young men illegally burn their draft cards to protest the Vietnam War and many face prison sentences. They argue the First Amendment protects this form of protest; the government disagrees.

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CONTEMPORARY CONSIDERATIONS

2017: Clashing Over a Campus Speaker

Students disrupt a speaker's presentation to prevent him from sharing views they find offensive. Similar events around the nation force colleges to revisit campus speech policies.

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