I believe in the guarantee of the first amendment. The freedom of speech is “supposedly” promised to me wherever I am. But, for some reason, people try to take this away from teenagers.
“I don’t understand why would I get in trouble for voicing my opinion?” I ask this question all of the time and all adults seem to have the same answer. “Well, you are just a kid; you still have a lot to learn.”
Just because I’m not “old and wise,” doesn’t mean that my opinion is any less important. Although half of the time what I have to say is nowhere close to life changing; there is no reason why someone older than me should try to push me aside, and act like my input is of no great concern to any conversation. Nowhere in the constitution does it say that, “All amendments only apply to adults.”
I thought that I was guaranteed my rights anywhere, but it seems that walking through certain doors, eliminates the fact that I am just like any other American. Most of my time, at least right now, has to revolve around school. Although I wouldn’t consider myself a “bad kid,” I get reprimanded for the same thing repeatedly. I have nothing against school, and I realize that the better education that I get, the more money I will make. The only problem I have is that, to me, I feel as if my rights are taken away, and I am no longer free. I know that there is my time to talk, and my time to stay quiet. But, when it is my turn, I don’t believe that my opinion should be corrected or criticized.
This is not always the case, but when I do have something to say, I don’t want to be “called down to my level,” as some people call it. I want to be heard, and acknowledged for the fact that I have something to say. After all, it is only an opinion.
There are times when I need to be corrected, and I have no problem accepting that. Sometimes, I do talk out of turn…but who doesn’t. I may come off rude and need to think before I speak, but there is no use holding back and letting people think that I don’t have something to say. I should have the chance to be heard no matter where I am, just like any other human being.
If I hung back in the crowd and stayed quiet, I wouldn’t be me. Heck, I wouldn’t even be the person that so many people have come to know. I know that there people that can’t accept the fact that I will always have something to say, and I have no problem living with that. Still, I don’t think that I should change to pacify anyone.
The first amendment of the Constitution of the United States guarantees the freedom of speech to everyone, regardless of your age. It shouldn’t matter where I am, if it is at an appropriate time, I don’t believe that I should be corrected for having something to say; because I believe in the guarantee of the first amendment.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.