Can security trump free speech?

The article entitled ‘Can security trump free speech?’ –and countless others from the past week– could be useful in bringing about a discussion in your social studies, history or civics classrooms about the right and responsibility of freedom of speech. The debate between individual human rights and personal  & collective security has been a permanent fixture in the wake of the Terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001. From the Patriot Act in the USA to security certificates in CANADA.

For Educators, this article and others can help bring those larger issues to the forefront of our students imaginations by serving as an introductory discussion piece on this larger topic of Freedom vs Security.  It can also be used in a classroom discussion simply on the value of free speech and whether or not it should ever be curtailed. One could easily complement said article with others exploring  whether or not hate speech laws have their place in a democratic society that values free speech. This could be explored in Socratic Circles Socratic Dialogue or  Debate formats. The research for any of those 3 approaches could culminate with a pre and post interaction position piece. The latter could take the form of a short blog post, a short position paper or mini-argumentative essay format.

You could use this great political cartoon from The Economist as a hook.


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