Student Rights, Protests and Free Speech

NOTE: This past webinar has now been archived. The recording can be viewed on YouTube or below for free.

Student Rights, Protests & Free SpeechCampus racial climate and the national and state elections are breeding grounds for activism and protests. Mishandled protests can spark media backlash, and your institution can make headline news.

Stay informed on how to nurture student activism and protect the free speech rights of the young people around you. You can't always anticipate what will trigger emotional and passionate responses, but you can respond appropriately and intelligently, while trying to respect legitimate, guaranteed rights.

Be proactive in your protection of free speech and student voices. Hear from a nationally recognized consultant on what is legally protected for minors and how not to irritate your administration.

  • What are the rights of students on campus?
  • How can students legally protest and voice their dissent?
  • How do students react to authority, and how should you respond?
  • Can librarians and teachers get in trouble for supporting student free speech?
  • How can allies support and encourage student activism?
  • What tools help students deal with hate speech? 
  • Are activism and safety in schools mutually exclusive?

This archived webinar was originally presented December 15th, 2016.

Learning Outcomes

  • Participants will recognize the multitude of ways minors can legally express their perspectives and opinions.
  • Participants will realize the need for clear understanding between administration and educators.
  • Participants will learn what strategies and choices they have when faced with violation of First Amendment rights.
  • Participants will learn about constitutionally protected and limits to free speech.
  • Participants will learn ways they can strengthen support for free speech in their learning communities.
  • Participants will identify proactive strategies for interacting and engaging with protesters toward a mutually beneficial and nonviolent relationship/experience.

Who Should Attend

  • Librarians: public, K-12 school, academic
  • Teachers and allied adults
  • Administration: directors, systems, superintendents, principals
  • Library boards and school boards
  • Organizations concerned with the First Amendment and intellectual freedom
  • State library associations and intellectual freedom advocates


Emilio De Torre has been the Director of Youth and Programs at the ACLU of Wisconsin for the past ten years. He serves on the Board of Directors for both Milwaukee Public Theatre and TRUE Skool, and was the 2013 recipient of the YWCA's Eliminating Racism award. He lectures and consults nationally for a variety of organizations and is dedicated to advancing the civil liberties and civil rights of all people. Emilio served as a public school teacher at PS 287 in Fort Greene, Brooklyn and as the Director of Education Services for 15,000 young people from Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and Manhattan at the Madison Square Boys and Girls Clubs. He’s a devoted father to his three kids and is an avid comic book collector.








How to Register

Tech Requirements

You’ll need a stable internet connection and working headphones/speakers.


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