In 2001, Fairview Elementary School in Modesto, California participated in a forum sponsored by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) and the Freedom Forum's First Amendment Center. These two groups joined forces to promote a First Amendment Schools: Educating for Freedom and Responsibility. This join venture was developed as a means of looking at how to change the way schools instruct the rights and responsibilities that frame our civic lives. (Beatty,2004)
The guiding principles associated with the democratic values of First Amendment Schools are:
- Create schools that serve as laboratories of democratic freedom.
- Develop in all members of the school community a commitment to inalienable rights and civic responsibility.
- Engage all stakeholders in a shared commitment to work together for the common good of the school community.
- Foster the knowledge, skills and virtues necessary for thoughtful and effective participation in the democratic life of the school community and beyond.
Based on the democratic values forum at Fairview Elementary School, students, teachers, administrators, parents, and community members established an abiding commitment to teach and model the rights and responsibilities that promote civic awareness and undergird the First Amendment. (FAS Founders, 2001)