The Texas Young Lawyers Association, commonly called the “public service arm” of the State Bar of Texas, will launch Your Voice, Now!, an online learning platform aimed to educate students about student speech and their First Amendment rights, on April 1.
The project—which includes educational videos from school law experts, school administrators, parents, and students—also features an interview with Mary Beth Tinker, a free speech activist who was the center of the seminal U.S. Supreme Court case Tinker v. Des Moines. The court’s decision defined the First Amendment rights of students in public schools.
The curriculum, which includes online worksheets and checklists for educators, meets Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills requirements.
“Balancing the educational needs of a diverse student body while providing supportive venues for students to express their individual views is not an easy task,” 2019-2020 TYLA President Victor A. Flores said. “The discussion involves all voices: students, parents, teachers, and administrators. We hope this web-based platform opens a healthy roundtable discussion in schools across Texas and the country while also educating students on necessary government and civics issues.”
Your Voice, Now! is made possible by a $45,000 grant from the Texas Bar Foundation, which has awarded more than $20 million in grants to law-related programs since its inception in 1965.
For more information on the Texas Young Lawyers Association and other projects, go to tyla.org.