Civics

What means freedom of speech?

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All humans have rights and freedoms. Most of these freedoms are written into law, which is the set of rules people live by. In the United States, the Constitution is the highest form of law. The first rule written into the Constitution guarantees Americans' freedom of speech.

Freedom of speech prevents the U.S. government from making any laws that stop people from saying what they think or feel.

It allows everyone to share their opinions, even if they are critical of the government. Freedom of speech is a very important part of democracy, which has spread to many parts of the world.

Sometimes, governments or political groups try to stop people's freedom of speech. This usually happens when one group disagrees with the opinions and ideas of another group. Instead of using their freedom of expression, the people who disagree sometimes use violence or force to silence the other views. In some countries, journalists, who produce the news, can be arrested for what they create if the government does not agree.

(by Mya Kagan)

Exploration

Could you imagine being punished for writing or creating something that another person did not like? Talk with a trusted adult about why you think it is important to have freedom of speech. What ideas do you have for freedom of speech worldwide?