Published: Sept. 15, 2014

In recognition of national Constitution Day, nearly 100 students, faculty and alumni of the University of Colorado Boulder Law School will teach a lesson on the First Amendment and online bullying in high school classrooms throughout Colorado Sept. 15-26.

Constitution Day is the annual commemoration of the Sept. 17, 1787, signing of the United States Constitution, and the CU-Boulder Byron R. White Center for the Study of American Constitutional Law sponsors the lessons as part of its Constitution Day Project.

The volunteer students, faculty and alumni will visit classrooms in Aurora, Buena Vista, Colorado Springs, Denver, Fort Collins, Glenwood Springs, Greeley, Kremmling, Thornton and other locations. They will present an interactive lesson focused on the structure of the Constitution, the details of the First Amendment and Supreme Court cases concerning the First Amendment and online bullying. After reviewing the law, high school students will be guided through a debate about a hypothetical case involving the First Amendment and online bullying.

The lesson plan was created by law students with the guidance of several high school civics teachers and law Professor Melissa Hart, director of the Byron R. White Center.

“It has been wonderful to watch this program grow, both expanding to new parts of Colorado and adding wonderful new student and attorney presenters every year,” Hart said. “This year’s First Amendment lesson creates a concrete opportunity to think about how the Constitution applies to the very real and serious problem of bullying through social media.”

Congress recognized Sept. 17 as a day of national observance beginning in 2004 and requires all schools receiving federal funding to provide educational programming pertaining to the Constitution.

Since the Constitution Day Project was launched at CU-Boulder in 2011, the Byron R. White Center has sent more than 250 law students, alumni and local attorneys to more than 300 state high school classrooms. The project is supported, in part, by a CU-Boulder Outreach Award.