First amendment receives more support

Alberto Ibarguen, President of The Knight Foundation, and Marty Baron, executive editor of The Washington Post, in a lunch plenary during the Knight Foundation's Media Learning Seminar 2017 held at the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay Hotel. (Knight Foundation/Creative Commons Flickr)

Alberto Ibarguen, President of The Knight Foundation, and Marty Baron, executive editor of The Washington Post, in a lunch plenary during the Knight Foundation's Media Learning Seminar 2017 held at the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay Hotel. (Knight Foundation/Creative Commons Flickr)

The Knight Foundation, an organization that invests in journalism, the arts and technology, recently released a survey showing high school students’ support of the First Amendment is the highest it has been in a decade, according to a press release.

In a survey of almost 12,000 high school students and 726 teachers, 91 percent expressed their agreement that “people should be allowed to express unpopular opinions,” compared to 83 percent who took the survey in 2004, according to the press release.

Over half of students felt normal individuals should have the same publishing rights as professional journalists.

Students also felt that they should be able to document activities involving the police as long as they are not interfering, according to the release. 

Both Connecticut high school and University of Connecticut students weighed in on the survey results, giving their opinions about freedom of speech.

Henry Ortiz, a sophomore at the CT River Academy in East Hartford, agreed that people should be allowed to express unpopular opinions.

“I feel that people should be able to say what they want. Everyone is allowed to say how they feel, even when they are wrong,” Ortiz said.

Second-semester psychology major Juwan Rosa had a similar response.

“Everyone thinks in different ways. As a result, everyone has different opinions. Sometimes it is better if someone says an unpopular opinion because those around can understand why the opinion exists,” Rosa said.

Both students said they felt freedom of speech was important, and without it, ideas would not be able to be shared.

In response to the survey question about documenting the police, both Rosa and Ortiz also agreed that people should be able to videotape police officers’ actions as long as they are not interfering.

“Police officers are employees of the state, generally things involving state are public. Why shouldn’t the way a cop treats an individual be as well?” Rosa said.


Caesar Valentin is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at Caesar.valentin@uconn.edu.