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Sharing your state law with others

Posted by on Aug 22, 2017 in Blog, Law and Ethics, Lessons, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

by John Bowen and Lori Keekley

Title

Sharing your state law with others

Description

State laws protecting student press rights mean nothing if students, administrators, school boards and others don’t know what they mean or how they impact the community. For this lesson, students will create an action plan for the various groups in their community about the state legislation.

Objectives

  • Students will evaluate what their state law covers and identify key points to share with others.
  • Students will research key points of their legislation, outline them and seek ways to effectively present them.
  • Students will synthesize these steps into Action Plans for sharing key points with various local communities.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze how an author uses and refines the meaning of a key term or terms over the course of a text (e.g., how Madison defines faction in Federalist No. 10).
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.1.D Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarize points of agreement and disagreement, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views and understanding and make new connections in light of the evidence and reasoning presented.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.1.D Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives; synthesize comments, claims, and evidence made on all sides of an issue; resolve contradictions when possible; and determine what additional information or research is required to deepen the investigation or complete the task.

Length

50 minutes

Materials / resources

Computers

State Law (see list at the end of the lesson for state links)

Lesson step-by-step

Step 1. Warm up — 5 minutes

The teacher should ask the class if they had last minute questions about their state law. Discuss them as needed, or tell students they will move on create an Action Plan to sell the new state law to administrators, community and board of education.

Step 2. Large group — 5 minutes

Tell students they will create an Action Plan to convince groups, administrators, community and board of education, the value of the new state law. Students can refer to the State Law Sheet and the role play from the earlier lesson.

An Action Plan would be an outline of the arguments, process and rationale for each they would use to explain the importance of having the state law to discuss this with selected community groups. Its contents might well vary depending on the group being addressed.

Step 3. Small groups — 40 minutes

The teacher will divide the class into a group for each of the categories, administrators, community, school board, and ask students to choose one they feel most comfortable with. Remember, each group will target a different audience to inform.

Each group will appoint a team leader (a student with journalism experience or editor would be best) to lead discussion and to record role and process.

Suggested talking points would include:

  • A timeline for the presentation session and which students would present information
  • A plan for publicity to invite members of their target audience
  • Securing a place for the presentation
  • Presentation materials effective for each targeted audience
  • Research need and student responsibilities for that material
  • A script for the presentation
  • Arrangements for sound, lighting and visuals as needed
  • Plans to have publicity/reporting of the presentation

Each team would also plan for future meetings to create materials and finalize times and places. The class, with input from the teacher, would ultimately decide the timeline for presentations (most likely, though, the presentation to the board of education would come last).

Teacher note: Depending on the class composition, this lesson may take more than one day. The students may need an additional day to create the presentation.

State Laws and Codes:

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What’s in your state press law?

Posted by on Aug 22, 2017 in Blog, Law and Ethics, Legal issues, Lessons, Scholastic Journalism | 0 comments

by John Bowen and Lori Keekley

Title

What’s in your state press law?

Description

State laws protecting student press rights mean nothing if students don’t know what they cover. For this lesson, students will examine what their state law protects and what its limitations are. Students will also create a dialogue with stakeholders in order to educate them about what the bill and its impact.

Objectives

  • Students will evaluate what their state law covers
  • Students will locate and quote from their state bill
  • Students will create a dialogue to help inform other stakeholders about the bill.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze how an author uses and refines the meaning of a key term or terms over the course of a text (e.g., how Madison defines faction in Federalist No. 10).
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.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.SL.9-10.1.D Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarize points of agreement and disagreement, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views and understanding and make new connections in light of the evidence and reasoning presented.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.1.D Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives; synthesize comments, claims, and evidence made on all sides of an issue; resolve contradictions when possible; and determine what additional information or research is required to deepen the investigation or complete the task.

Length

50 minutes

Materials / resources

State law (pick the applicable one from those available at the end of the lesson)

Handout: State law sheet

Rubric: State law rubric

Computer

Definitions of legal terms used in various bills

Lesson step-by-step

Step 1 — Introduction (5 minutes)

Thirteen states have now passed student free expression legislation or codes. While many are similar, no one is exactly like any other.

Have students guess what 13 states have this legislation or state code.

(Teacher note — the states in which legislation has passed include: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island.)

Is your state part of this? (If it is not, have students evaluate one of the other state laws and see Extension 2).

Step 2 — Small groups (20 minutes)

Place students into small groups. Each group will need to complete the “State Law Sheet.” Teachers may need to provide hints about where to find the information either by search or accessing the New Voices USA homepage.

The teacher would also explain why it is important students create a dialogue between a student and either an administrator, school board member, angry parent, angry student or adviser about the bill. The teacher should assign each group one of these people to educate about the significance, relevance and rationale behind the laws, especially as they apply to the stakeholders.

Step 3 — Assessment (25 minutes)

Students will act out the dialogue they created concerning educating someone about the bill. Please see the rubric for point breakdown.

Differentiation

If you have advanced students, you could have students compare their state legislation with another state’s bill. Then they could write a blogpost about whether their legislation needs any changes and why.

We also recommend more than additional class or assignment time for students to work on applying what they learned about their state legislation.

Assessment

The teacher will use the assessment form to evaluate student participation.

Extension Activities

Extension 1:

Have students (in small groups) research the following court cases and reflect upon why they might be used as precedent in a New Voices law:

Tinker v. Des Moines

Bethel v. Fraser

Dean v. Utica

Miller v. California

Morse v. Frederick

The students should present background information about why the court cases laws are relevant and why precise legal language is essential for any such legislation to succeed.

Extension 2:

If your state is not included in the list of 13 states with laws, the teacher might have students use the lesson to focus on differences between two of the state’s legislation is and what should be in students’ state legislation when developed.

Students could also access the New Voices U.S. site and see their state’s status in the New Voices movement and see who to contact if they are interested in helping to pass the bill.

State Laws and Codes:

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Iowa anniversary marks 20 years of state law

Posted by on May 14, 2009 in Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

In a year of anniversaries, 2009 seems to be special. Twenty years ago this week, notes Mark Goodman, Knight Chair of Scholastic Journalism at Kent State University, Iowa became the first state to not only pass a law drafted specifically in response to Hazelwood, but also the first to draft one from scratch.

For the history and educational perspective, go here.

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