The Constitution protects the fundamental right of parents to rear and educate their children as they see fit.
It also protects the free speech rights of teachers and students.
And, somewhere in this mix is the important concept of academic freedom, which makes the courts reluctant to second-guess the educational choices of teachers.
Sometimes, all of these rights and interests seem to conflict, and the result is a struggle over the banning of a book - perhaps from a public school library or from the school's curriculum.
And that's just what happened at Watauga High School in Boone, North Carolina.
Do we have a constitutional right to smile? Seems silly, but we probably do - after all, smiling is expressive activity, and such expression is protected by the First Amendment.
But not every country has a First Amendment. One of those unfortunate countries is Romania, especially when it suffered under the heel of a communist dictator, Nicolae Ceaușescu.
One of Stewart's students at the Appalachian School of Law, a young woman named Irina Dan McGarry, grew up during the last few years of that dictatorship and its aftermath. Her story is a chilling reminder of the often under-appreciated value of our constitutional rights.
In this final installment of our three-part series on Colonial Williamsburg, Stewart interviews two CW interpreters: Richard Schumann, who portrays Patrick Henry, and Bryan Austin, who interprets James Madison.
The beginning of the interview is in character: Madison and Henry square off in a spirited debate over the ratification of the Constitution.
Then Stewart interviews Richard and Bryan as themselves, and they explain the many challenges and rewards of assuming the roles of two such important Founders.
We're back with the second installment of our three-part series on one of our favorite places in the world: Colonial Williamsburg.
This week Stewart speaks with CW staffers Bill Weldon, Frances Burroughs, Lisa Heuvel and Bill White. Together, they explore CW's extensive educational outreach efforts - things like the online/in-person/online adventure game, REVQUEST - and also the many other programs provided by Colonial Williamsburg that make it one of the premiere places in America for civic education.
And while we still highly recommend that you visit CW, it's nice to know that you can enjoy many of CW's extensive resources from the comfort of your own home or classroom.
This week Stewart visits with Cash Arehart, our friend and interpreter at Colonial Williamsburg, one of the coolest places on the planet.
Stewart and Cash talk about the history of the city of Williamsburg, the establishment of Colonial Williamsburg in the 1920's, and the evolution of this unique institution of living history over the past century.
Listen in. It's epic.
Was anesthesia invented in Georgia? Or was it in Massachusetts? Or maybe Rhode Island? All three states have historical markers claiming this major medical breakthrough as their own. Did the first powered flight take place in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina? Or in Pittsburg, Texas? A Texas state marker gives the hat tip to Pittsburg.
To unravel this unsettling problem, Stewart welcomes James Loewen to discuss his book, “Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites Got Wrong.” Mr. Loewen is also the author of the best-selling, “Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong.”
Stewart also discusses a current controversy over historical markers with Bryan Stevenson, the Director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama.
You've got a right to have your day in court. Indeed, the Constitution guarantees you a right to a lawyer, and even requires the government to pay for representation -- at least in a criminal case.
But what if you have other legal needs? What if someone sues you, and you can't afford a lawyer? How much is a constitutional right worth -- if you can't afford it?
Johnson City, Tennessee attorney Tony Seaton has been doing his part to answer these tough questions for years. And now he'll tell us how.
He's back! By popular demand! Patrick Henry, as explained by author Mark Couvillon!
Part I of this can't-miss series took us from Henry's birth in small-town Virginia as a British subject through his "liberty or death" speech, in which he risked the hangman's noose. But that was just the beginning of his fascinating life story.
Draw near, and attend!
We've been meaning to do an episode on Patrick Henry for a long time. Finally, we've had a chance to visit his final home, his rustic, little-known estate in rural Virginia known as Red Hill.
And boy, were we impressed. The ladies at Red Hill arranged for us to visit with Mark Couvillon, who knows more about Patrick Henry than anyone we've ever met. In fact, Mark knows so much that we couldn't cram all of his knowledge into one episode, or even two! Yep, that's right: this will be the first of three full episodes devoted to Patrick Henry.
It turns out that he did much, much more of importance in our constitutional history than just giving one speech. Did you know, for example, that . . .
Sorry, not enough space here. Guess you'll just have to listen.