ERIC Number: ED294786
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987
Reference Count: N/A
Freedom of Speech: Where To Draw the Line. National Issues Forums.
Public Agenda Foundation, New York, NY.; Domestic Policy Association, Dayton, OH.
The goal of community forums is to stimulate and sustain citizen dialogue about public issues. Topical issues and controversies are used to explore the issue of freedom of expression. The discussion is framed around three different views. Those comprising the first view believe that the balance has swung too far toward unlimited freedom and that words and pictures can cause serious physical, moral, and social harm. Although these people differ on what kinds of speech should be curtailed, they all agree that some additional restriction on freedom of expression are appropriate. Proponents of a second point of view hold that adults need not be protected from controversial or offensive images. But they are concerned about the effects of certain materials on minors. They believe that adults have the judgment not to be swayed by extremist rhetoric, prurient stories, or blatant stereotypes. To them, the only appropriate action for government is to erect certain barriers so that young people are not exposed to objectionable messages. A third viewpoint would apply Justice Holmes'"clear and present danger" rule quite strictly. Even forms of expression that many people find offensive must be tolerated. Their solution to the problem of offensive ideas is to combat them with preferred ideas. More speech, they conclude, is always better than less. (SM)
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Public Agenda Foundation, New York, NY.; Domestic Policy Association, Dayton, OH.