Eva & Madeline’s Story:
Should students have a right to free speech?

The U.S. Constitution defends our rights to freedom of speech and freedom of speech and freedom of the press. But do you leave these rights at the schoolhouse door? This story is about the First Amendment, and what happened when the editors of a school newspaper wrote about an issue which their school viewed as controversial.


Eva Rosenfeld and Madeline Halpert are co-editors of their high school newspaper. They wanted to devote a special issue to their own and other students’ struggles with depression. But the school said no, expressing concerns about students going public. So, Eva and Madeline wrote an article that appeared in the New York Times, and won national support.

  • What does free speech mean?
  • Should students have a right to free speech?
  • Are there limits to free speech, and if so what are they?
  • Should teachers limit a student’s right to free speech?
  • If a teacher limits a student’s free speech, what should the student do?
The Bill of Rights

“The First Amendment provides that Congress make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting its free exercise. It protects freedom of speech, the press, assembly, and the right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”