CIVIL RIGHTS & INDIVIDUAL LIBERTIES

Background and Context

These resources will help students develop a thorough understanding of Civil Rights & Individual Liberties and make connections between historical events, current conversations, and current policy proposals surrounding the issue. This section includes all of the context and content previously included in Close Up’s public policy chapters.  

 

Civil Rights and Individual Liberties in Context

How have Civil Rights and Individual Liberties changed throughout our history and what are the policies today? Learn More >

Current Issue Debates

Current Issue Debates are framed by a central question and followed by historical context, an overview of both sides of the topic, and discussion questions to facilitate deliberation in the classroom.

 

Red Flag Gun Laws

Available for Middle & High School

Should governments enact "red flag" gun laws? Learn More >

A Bakery, Same-Sex Marriage, and the Supreme Court

Available for Middle & High School

Does the First Amendment allow a business to deny services to people on the basis of the business owner’s religious beliefs? Learn More >

Confederate Flag License Plates and the Supreme Court

Did the Supreme Court make the right decision in Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc.? Learn More >

Drug-Sniffing Dogs and the Supreme Court

Is the use of a K-9 unit, after the conclusion of a traffic stop and without reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, a violation of the Fourth Amendment prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures? Learn More >

The Equality Act

Available for Middle & High School

Should Congress amend the Civil Rights Act to include discrimination protections for sexual orientation and gender identity? Learn More >

Abortion and Genetic Testing

Available for Middle & High School

Should the federal government pass a law that outlaws abortions based on disability discovered through prenatal genetic testing? Learn More >

A Cross on Public Property

Available for Middle & High School

Does the display and maintenance of a cross-shaped war memorial on public property violate the First Amendment? Learn More >

Abortion and the Supreme Court

Available for Middle & High School

Should the Supreme Court uphold a Louisiana law that requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital? Learn More >

Student Aid and Religious Schools

Available for Middle & High School

Can a state forbid students in religious schools from being eligible for a general student aid program? Learn More >

The Right to Transport a Handgun

Available for Middle & High School

Can a city ban a gun owner from transporting a licensed, locked, and unloaded handgun in their car? Learn More >

Transgender Employment Discrimination

Available for Middle & High School

Does the Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlaw employment discrimination based on a person’s transgender status? Learn More >

Videos from Policy Makers

Brought to you by ASP HOMEROOM, through a collaboration between Close Up Foundation and A Starting Point, these supplemental videos are an introduction to policy areas that provide an opportunity for students to hear different perspectives directly from lawmakers.

 

The Equality Act

Congressmen David Cicilline (D-RI) & Markwayne Mullin (R-OK)
July 14, 2021

Felon Voting Rights

Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA) & Congressman Byron Donalds (R-FL) 
February 11, 2021

Mental Health & Gun Ownership

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) & Congressman Kelly Armstrong (R-ND)
April 5, 2021

Lesson Plans

These ready-to-use lesson plans can be utilized in conjunction with any of our resources to enhance the quality of student discourse in the classroom. Our supplemental Civic Readiness Guide provides a recommended lesson plan sequence for using our Current Issues resources.

 

Additional & Archived Resources on Civil Rights & Individual Liberties

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Unit 3: Industrializing America Teacher Guide

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) | August 20, 2021

Words of Ages Teacher’s Guide are designed to supplement your standard classroom history text while offering new, creative perspectives on the nation’s heritage.


Unit 4: Democracy and Adversity Teacher Guide

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) |

Words of Ages Teacher’s Guide are designed to supplement your standard classroom history text while offering new, creative perspectives on the nation’s heritage.


Unit 5: The Challenges of Power Teacher Guide

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) |

Words of Ages Teacher’s Guide are designed to supplement your standard classroom history text while offering new, creative perspectives on the nation’s heritage.


Unit 1: A “New World”, A New Nation – Explorers and Early Settlers

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) | August 19, 2021

Captain John Smith and the English settlers who followed did not shed their attachments to Great Britain when they landed on North American shores.


Unit 1: A “New World”, A New Nation – The Search for a National Identity

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) |

Between the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783 and the Battle of New Orleans in 1815, the United States began to forge a national identity.


Unit 1: A “New World”, A New Nation – Voices of a Revolution

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) |

The ideas behind the American Revolution—like many of the colonial era—trace back to Europe.


Unit 2: Nationalism and Sectionalism – A Confident Nation

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) |

After the War of 1812, Americans gained confidence and pride in their nation as a spirit of unity and nationalism strengthened the union.


Unit 2: Nationalism and Sectionalism – Slavery and the Abolition Movement

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) |

From the 1830s to the 1860s, the economic, political, and cultural chasms between the North and South deepened.


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