Articles by

Gene Policinski

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    Gene Policinski is chief operating officer of the Newseum Institute and the institute’s First Amendment Center. He also directs the center’s annual State of the First Amendment national survey.There’s good news from the new “Future of the First Amendment” survey being released today: High school students nationwide show greater support for First Amendment freedoms that at any time since the survey began more than 10 years ago.As an advocate for those five core freedoms of religion, speech, press, assembly and petition, I don’t see any bad news that follows that finding.The Knight Foundation-funded survey of about 12,000 high school students, in spring 2016, found fully 91 percent of the students said it was important to be able to “express unpopular opinions,” up from 83 percent who felt that way in 2004.The finding is all the more encouraging given an attitude that seems have taken hold in our country—a belief that there is a right to be free from ideas and words that are disquieting, that challenge conventional thinking or personal comfort.