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This lecture meets the following New York State Learning Standards:
Language Arts 1.1 | Social Studies 1.1 | Social Studies 1.2 | Social Studies 1.3 | Social Studies 1.4 | Social Studies 5.1 | Social Studies 5.2 | Social Studies 5.3
Clear and Present Danger: Free Speech and the Constitution
A lecture by James L. Coll
Ask the average American to list their civil liberties and "freedom of speech" will undoubtedly be one of the first. Revered as perhaps the most important of our individual rights, the concept of unbridled expression has been one of the most debated issues in both our society and in our courtrooms and remains a cornerstone of the American identity.
Despite the absolutist wording of the First Amendment, free speech does not protect every form of speech or demonstration. As a consequence the government routinely makes laws preventing people from expressing themselves in every instance without recourse. So if free speech is not absolute, when are government restrictions permitted and when are they an infringement?
In the conversation, landmark Supreme Court decisions will be discussed, as will the delicate balance between this important civil liberty and public safety in America.
This lecture is available from November 1, 2010 to October 31, 2013
Can be tailored to a high school audience
CurriculumL.A. 1.1, S.S. 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3
Mr. James L. Coll
Adjunct Associate Professor, Nassau Community College, and Detective, New York City Police Department
James Coll is an adjunct associate professor of American and Constitutional history at Nassau Community College. James is also a detective in a tactical and rescue unit for the New York City Police Department. In his work with the NYPD, James has received numerous awards, including being named Cop of the Year by the New York City Police Foundation for the efforts of his unit during the US Airways Flight 1549 plane crash in the Hudson River. One year later, James was part of the FEMA NY Task Force Urban Search and Rescue Team deployed to Haiti in the aftermath of a 7.0 earthquake to search for survivors. In addition, James is the founder of changeNYS, a non-partisan organization dedicated to promoting the education of New Yorkers about civic understanding and political reform in our state.
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