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Celebrate Constitution Day by seeking answers


Today we celebrate Constitution Day as all schools are mandated to by federal law.

To focus this celebration of the Constitution’s 223 birthday, let’s ask ourselves and our school officials a few questions:
• If we don’t train our students to practice and believe in our Constitution and Bill of Rights, how can we possibly expect the coming fifth estate (journalism’s and civic journalism’s use of social media) to fulfill their mission of civic involvement and awareness? Without freedoms, while they are in school, as citizens they will barely be media literate.
• Are comments on social media and in response to articles in the media becoming ruder because people in many communities have no outlet to expression themselves freely, with responsibility, while in school because of censorship?
• Along the same lines, do people feel they have a right to anonymity in making online comments because it is the only way they could express themselves during their school years? Is the reason many youth favor anonymity of online comments stem from a lack of ability to freely discuss issues in our schools?
• Should we be educating students to be consumers of news, to be media literate, so they can engage in public discourse and intelligently handle discussions in a democracy?

In celebrating our democratic heritage – and future – today, let’s highlight the importance of free and responsible student expression. In so many ways it is the key to another 223 years of our freedoms.

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