Unformatted text preview: idual's control over the development of personal consciousness has made that individual politically impotent." Therefore, in order for the First Amendment to have meaning, it must ultimately ensure Americans' capacity to produce and to use knowledge in ways that are personally and politically effective. The educational system must thus be responsive to this democratic need: "To implement this conception of the First Amendment in the world of universal, institutionalized education requires a broadening of the amendment's traditional protection of expression of belief and opinion to embrace formation of belief and opinion." The schools, Stephen Arons and Charles Lawrence argue, are failing in this mission, to the particular detriment of those who benefit least overall from the present educational system: "In addition to being well informed, effective participants in the political process must understand what is in their own self-interest. If schools expose children only to values and ideas that buttress the status quo and legitimize the position of those in power, it is unlikely that those who are presently oppressed will learn the cause of their oppression or the means of overcoming it." This critique has interesting implications. Perhaps the most consistent constitutional paradigm to arise out of their analysis is one that acknowledges a governmental interest in inculcating only those values that "promote the community's continued capacity to govern itself through critical and independent intellectual inquiry, public debate, and participation in elections." Such an analysis also rejects any "government interest in inculcating values for the purpose of influencing the outcomes of future public debates." SLHS Value File Courts have repeatedly defended the first amendment in education to protect schools as marketplaces of ideas, especially in the free speech rights of teachers Kevin G. Welner, J.D., UCLA LAW REVIEW, April 2003, p. 980-984
At the same time that courts have...
View Full Document
This document was uploaded on 11/20/2013.
- Fall '13