First Amendment

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First Amendment

When one is growing up, and is not so knowledgeable about our government you can be sure that every kid knows that they have the freedom of speech. Freedom of Speech is probably one of the things that some kids use the most, when talking about something maybe one of their friends does not want to hear, “I have the freedom of speech I can say whatever I want.” This to a certain extent is true. The first amendment states this: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and petition the government for a redress of grievances”.(Bill) Though some people may try to take advantage of the first amendment, everyone should have the right to religion, free exercise, speech, press, peaceful assembly and the right to petition the government. In 1943 while at war with Germany and Japan, West Virginia wanted to instill American values by forcing Teachers and students to recite the pledge of allegiance. If the teacher or student failed to comply, they would be faced with expulsion. West Virginia’s motive for this rule seems reasonable but the consequences are beyond extreme. When a group of Jehovah’s Witness’ attended the school, “[They] refused to salute the flag because it represented a graven image that was not to be recognized.” (West) When these students refused to recite the pledge, they were not infringing upon on the rights of the other students. No student or teacher “should be required students to declare a belief that was contrary to their faiths”, (West. The state of West Virginia never stated that these students were in any way harming nor disturbing the other students as long as they did this passively. When taken to court, there was an eight to one decision that a…...

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