Fact Sheet

A fact sheet about the First Amendment

If you use a screen reader, you can get the First Amendment text-only fact sheet here.

A Guide to the First Amendment

What the First Amendment says

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of RELIGION, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of SPEECH, or of the PRESS; or the right of the people peaceably to ASSEMBLE, and to PETITION the Government for a redress of grievances.”

No matter your viewpoint, you have the same rights as everyone else under the First Amendment. 

  • Everyone can express their views and beliefs on campus without being shut down. 
  • The First Amendment protects all forms of religious exercise. 
  • Young Americans are less supportive of freedom of speech than older people, according to a recent study by an international human rights group.

Each of the five First Amendment rights is equally important.

  • The right to petition is the least known of the five First Amendment freedoms, but it is still critical to a functioning democracy.
  •  You have a right to file a complaint with UNT and other government organizations, and to be heard. 
  • Even though more than 40% of students in a Knight Foundation report believe that hate speech should be banned, it is protected by the First Amendment.

When the five First Amendment rights are protected for all, it benefits everyone on campus.

  • Just 36% of respondents in a recent survey believe students and school administrators attempt to crack down on controversial viewpoints, according to the Freedom Forum.
  • Viewpoint diversity must be honored for intellectual debate to thrive on campus. 
  • The University of North Texas policies and codes of conduct promote inclusivity and freedom from harm.