Saturday, June 20, 2009

Oklahomans don't know their First Amendment rights

No, the First Amendment doesn't grant the right to own a pet or drive a car. Property rights and the right to bear arms aren't in it either.

Oklahomans' ignorance of their fundamental federal rights is demonstrated on a
video shot by my team of OIDJ students in the past week. The print story discusses the disappearance of civics education in schools.

We didn't have time to include video of the students' other questions, which included:

Who are Oklahoma's two US senators? (Tom Coburn's gotta work on his name recognition. Surprising.

Which Oklahoma court hears appeals of criminal convictions? (No one knew about the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals. Not surprising. But still disappointing.)

How many justices are on the Oklahoma Supreme Court? (Most either didn't know or said eight. Some guessed to get the correct number of nine.)

Makes for an interesting story.

Joey Senat, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
OSU School of Journalism

1 comment:

  1. First Amendment rights are under attack here in Tulsa Oklahoma. City Councilman Rick Wescott has said in response to Occupy Tulsa's statement that the Constitution is the law of the land and that the first amendment trumps city curfew ordinances, that the first amendment is not absolute and may be abridged as to times and places where free speech is allowed, as long as the restriction is content neutral. What are your views on this? My email is


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