What Freedom of Speech Means to Me The First Amendment, with the rest of the Bill of Rights, was ratified on December 15, 1791. The Bill of Rights are the first ten amendments whose intend is to limit the federal government’s authority. The First Amendment protects citizens’ rights of freedom of religion, speech, press, and to assemble. Freedom of Speech means that I can voice or write my opinion on any topic, no matter how strong, as long as my speech does not defame or tarnish another person, business, product, or party, it does not offend the morality of the time or use profanity, and is not an incitement to commit a crime. With all of these restrictions on our First Amendment, the value of it has diminished in quality and quantity to almost nothing for the average teenager. The freedom of speech to a teenager is already limited in all aspects of life. In school I must choose my words carefully because of the negative attention from teachers and peers my words may have, and the possibility of disciplinary action if these words are extreme. At home my speech must also be censored because of the possibility of punishment and the desecration of our intrafamilial relationships. Authorities in today’s society are bringing children up to believe in what they hear and to not challenge the status-quo. Children are not often asked if they agree with what is happening, but rather forced to blindly take what they are told as fact. Even when children open their mouth to oppose what someone says, they are either scolded or overlooked, depending on the situation. When in a small group situation or when going against what an authority acquaintance, teens are often rebuked or reprimanded. When speaking on a large-scale trying to portray their message using general media or in public places, kids are nearly always overlooked and their views are taken as childish antics and nothing to take to mind. Myself, along with children and teens everywhere, are almost

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