Political Speech

Defend why freedom of expression is essential to the building and supporting of communities and civil society

What is Freedom of Expression?

Freedom of Expression creates an environment in which all members of the public can play an active role in society. Freedom of Expression creates an informed population that can become a partner in leadership.

  • Class discussion: What happens in societies where there is no Freedom of Expression? Consider the following statements: WITHOUT FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION:
  1. One lives in fear
  2. One can’t question
  3. One can’t talk, move around
  4. One can’t make informed choices
  5. One has only a limited awareness of “others”
  • Class discussion: What are the personal consequences for people who cannot exercise their freedom of expression? What are the consequences for minority groups whose voices are not heard in public? What are the consequences for the majority if the interests and opinions of minority groups cannot be expressed?
  • Student exercise: Look at the news media (a newspaper or a TV program, etc.). How would the news would be different if there was no freedom of expression?
  • Student exercise: How can teens make themselves heard? What is FoE for teens? List ten or more ways social restrictions limit the freedom of expression of teenagers and of women. Do those groups accept the limitations put on them? How could teens and women more freely express themselves? What would the effect be if they did so publicly?
  • Class discussion: Find some historical examples where Freedom of Expression has been limited. What were the causes of those limitations?
  • Class discussion: What are the barriers to freedom of expression, other than specific laws? (You might want to consider language, literacy, economics, technology, etc.)