In other news teens buying brown shirts in record numbers

http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2005-01-30-students-press_x.htm

36% of students surveyed are being left behind.

On the face of it, this is disturbing news, but I want more context. I’m wondering if these numbers are similar to earlier studies on high school attitudes. I’d be more concerned if, over time, greater proportions of high school students are endorsing restrictions on free speech. If a similar proportion (about 35%) of high school students in 1980 wanted similar restrictions, I’m a bit less worried, because this suggests U.S. high school students learn more about the rights guaranteed by the first amendment as they get older.

I would have believed flag burning was illegal if you would have asked me in high school.

This is a perennial story; if you poll any group of people in the US, at any time in the last 100 years, they always give answers like this.

Asked whether the press enjoys “too much freedom,” not enough or about the right amount, 32% say “too much,” and 37% say it has the right amount. Ten percent say it has too little.

I assume the other 21% was divided equally between “Uh, can you repeat the question?” and “I thought you said this wasn’t going to be on the test?”

Jason is correct, it is a perennial story; if you poll high school students, at any time in the past 100 years, you will get dumbass answers.

News flash: American high school students take freedom for granted!

No, I remember distinctly the population at large answering like that too. See:

http://www.interesting-people.org/archives/interesting-people/200208/msg00132.html

By AMBER McDOWELL, Associated Press
Published 5:13 p.m. PDT Thursday, August 29, 2002
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Support for the First Amendment has eroded
significantly since Sept. 11 and nearly half of Americans now think the
constitutional amendment on free speech goes too far in the rights it
guarantees, says a poll released Thursday.
The sentiment that the First Amendment goes too far was already on the rise
before the terrorist attacks a year ago, doubling to four in 10 between 2000
and 2001.
The poll found that 49 percent think the First Amendment goes too far, a
total about 10 points higher than in 2001.