Science, Safety, and Civil Liberties

byVictoria Brown


For the past few years, I have been teaching science on a high school level from grades nine through twelve. I have taught many subjects including Chemistry, Physical Science/General Science, and Environmental Science, and I have found that high school students tend to shy away from the sciences. They have an inherent fear of science, particularly of the physical sciences, which seem to stem from their experiences in middle and elementary schools. One of my primary objectives as a science teacher is to create ways for students to learn science in a fun and relatively non-threatening way. I also hope to make them aware of the many ways in which science is important in their lives. I have found that my best lessons have been the ones in which students are actively engaged. Students have a lot to offer both their peers and teachers, and I learn just as much from them as they do from me. I am still fascinated with each class that I teach, and I look forward to every new semester.

I intend to use this curriculum unit to heighten awareness of the ways that science often poses new problems for American goals of protecting civil liberties. This unit will also be used to challenge students to think about times when their individual rights may have been sacrificed in order to foster a sense of safety and security. In an effort to stimulate interest amongst students and integrate science with other subjects, this unit is designed to engage high school science students in learning about science-related topics that will focus on issues of both safety and civil liberties.


As science produces new security and safety threats, efforts to guard against them can sometimes threaten valuable civil liberties. It is often very difficult to decide how best to protect against the new dangers modern science produces while still avoiding repressive policies. By exploring these issues, students can gain a greater appreciation of the importance of science and the broader problems, as well as benefits, science can bring into their lives and into all our lives.

This unit is designed for high school students grades nine through twelve. My average class size is thirty-three students. The school in which I teach is a vocational technical high school and the majority of the students are males. The school is currently on a block schedule, with classes that are approximately ninety minutes in length. Each class meets Mon-Fri for ninety minutes a day from September to January and from February to June.

As freshmen entering high school, students get to participate in five week rotations throughout all shops to get a sense of what it would be like to be in these shops. They then get to select what shops they would prefer to be in, with priority given to those students with the best ninth grade academic performance. Students have several shops from which they can choose to study for the duration of high school starting from tenth grade to twelfth, including HRT (Health Related and Technology); auto body; automotive; electrical; culinary arts; construction; welding; and plumbing. This unit is to be taught from a vocational perspective. Each of the above shops represents a different vocation and they are accordingly taught very differently. The issues with which this unit is concerned, the dangers posed by chemical and biological terrorist weapons, are most directly pertinent to the Health Related and Technology shop. However it is imperative that all students learn and understand the importance of taking safety precautions in the shops. This is the foundation to being successful in all of the shops.

This unit will stress the importance of safety and precautions in all vocational settings when confronted with new threats produced by modern science, particularly a new biological weapon, anthrax. Recent events have shown how terrorists can distribute anthrax in ways that might threaten any office or workplace. Many of the measures used to protect against it apply also to other sorts of toxic threats in workplaces. It is important for students to see the importance of using safety precautions and how they are enforced in industry. Students will also learn about some recommendations for preventing exposure. Safety is a very real issue and it should be taken very seriously.

After learning about the threats presented by anthrax and other such biological and chemical weapons, students will also learn and understand the importance of civil liberties through a debate over what sorts of security measures are and are not appropriate to combat these threats.


To help students, understand what is at stake in current issues raised by the new weapons science has given to modern terrorists, we will focus on the recent anthrax scare that authorities have attributed to terrorists, though the perpetrators have not been caught.

The human and economic costs of the anthrax attacks, the nation's first major act of bioterrorism, still haunt Americans all over the country today. A small amount of powder in five letters killed five people in Washington, Florida and New York, and sickened 17. The U.S. postal system was full of terror in several cities. Congressional offices were evacuated. As the Washington Post editorialized, "the cost of responding to the attacks on the U.S. Postal Service alone reached an estimated $1 billion, and that's not counting the additional costs of protecting its employees, customers and the mail system from future exposure to biohazardous material, according to a 2003 Postal Service report. The cost of cleaning up the Hart Senate Office Building and other offices on Capitol Hill ran into tens of millions of dollars. Testing and capital investments by government and nongovernmental entities in response to the attacks have required spending millions more. What's worse, the threat of attack by weaponries biological agent remains as real as it was the day those contaminated letters arrived at the offices of a tabloid newspaper in Florida, on Capitol Hill, and in postal facilities and media outlets in and around New York." (Washington Post, 2005; cf. Rainwater, 2001).

To help students understand the security threats posed by anthrax and other such biological weapons and to learn how science can both produce and combat such threats, students will learn the following basic scientific facts about anthrax, drawn primarily from the Center for Disease Control's webpage, "Anthrax: What You Need to Know" (

Anthrax: Varieties and Dangers

There are three different types of anthrax: pulmonary, cutaneous, and gastrointestinal. The following is a description of the way each type of anthrax is transmitted and the symptoms.

Pulmonary or inhalational anthrax


Humans can become infected through inhalation of B. anthracis spores. As a bioterrorism agent, anthrax could be delivered as an aerosol. However, without some sort of delivery system, the spores are not passed through the air from an infected person to other persons or from animals to persons.


Early signs of inhalational anthrax are flu-like symptoms that could include a fever, cough, headache, vomiting, chills, weakness, abdominal pain, and chest pain. These symptoms would be difficult to diagnose as anthrax without a high degree of suspicion. A brief interim improvement could occur, followed by the abrupt onset of respiratory failure and other conditions. Symptoms generally occur rapidly after exposure, but can take up to 60 days depending on exposure route and dose.

Cutaneous anthrax

Transmission Cutaneous anthrax is the most common naturally occurring form. Humans can contract it by handling the hides or wool of infected animals or other materials containing spores, which can allow the spores to enter through cuts or scrapes. Cutaneous anthrax can be transmitted from person to person through direct contact with secretions from skin lesions caused by this form of anthrax.


Cutaneous anthrax is generally easier to recognize, simpler to treat, and associated with a much lower mortality than the inhalational form. It is most commonly seen on the head, forearms or hands and occurs locally after direct contact with spores or bacilli. Symptoms include localized itching followed by a small, solid bump resembling an insect bite. Within one to two days, the bump develops into a fluid-filled vesicle, which ruptures to form a painless ulcer, usually 1-3 cm in diameter. Within two to six days, the ulcer develops into a depressed black scab. These symptoms will generally begin to develop between one and seven days following cutaneous exposure.

Gastrointestinal anthrax


Humans can also become infected with anthrax by eating insufficiently cooked meat from infected animals or ingesting other food that contains spores.


Symptoms of gastrointestinal anthrax include nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, and fever, followed by abdominal pain, vomiting of blood, and severe diarrhea. These symptoms will generally develop between one and seven days following ingestion of contaminated food.

Bioterrorist Weapons and Civil Liberties

Background information

The anthrax scare has raised many safety issues that are pertinent to other hazards. But effort to safeguard against those hazards, can pose threats to civil liberties. The Radiant Justice Implementation Group is a Michigan organization that has sought to address issues of combating terrorist threats without unduly restricting personal freedoms. They seek to define a constructive middle ground, as in the following statement, which addresses government anti-terrorist steps such as the USA Patriot Act and the President's executive order authorizing military trials for suspected terrorists:

"A number of organizations have called for no restrictions on civil liberties, or for complete repeal of the anti-terrorism bill. We believe this is a mistake. Certain restrictions on civil liberties are appropriate in order to protect us from real dangers. One that comes to mind immediately is increased monitoring of mail as long as there is any credible threat that it may contain anthrax spores or some other deadly substance. Such monitoring may reasonably mean delay and perhaps opening of mail in some circumstances and invasion of privacy. Another is more careful checking of airline passengers and their luggage. This may also mean greater delays as well as some invasion of privacy.

However, many of the restrictions enacted go clearly too far. They deny basic rights to those suspected or accused by allowing detention without basic safeguards. They authorize military courts instead of civil courts at a time when that is wholly unnecessary. They shift powers to the FBI, CIA, and other law enforcement and related agencies. Of course, these powers have a legacy of abusing powers in the past for this very reason they have been restricted in the past" (

In a thoughtful discussion that first reviews the history of infringements on civil liberties during American wars, Paul Rosenzweig, a lawyer and scholar at the Heritage Foundation, has laid out how he believes these tensions between protecting national security and preserving civil liberties should be dealt with (Rosenzweig, 2003):

"Of course, just because the Congress and the President have a constitutional obligation to act forcefully to safeguard Americans against attacks by foreign powers does not mean that every means by which they might attempt to act is necessarily prudent or within their power. Core American principles require that any new counter-terrorism technology deployed domestically) should be developed only within the following bounds:

  • No fundamental liberty guaranteed by the Constitution can be breached or infringed upon.
  • Any increased intrusion on American privacy interests must be justified through an understanding of the particular nature, significance, and severity of the threat being addressed by the program. The less significant the threat, the less justified the intrusion.
  • Any new intrusion must be justified by a demonstration of its effectiveness in diminishing the threat. If the new system works poorly by, for example, creating a large number of false positives, it is suspect. Conversely, if there is a close "fit" between the technology and the threat (that is, for example, if it is accurate and useful in predicting or thwarting terror), the technology should be more willingly embraced.
  • The full extent and nature of the intrusion worked by the system must be understood and appropriately limited. Not all intrusions are justified simply because they are effective. Strip searches at airports would prevent people from boarding planes with weapons, but at too high a cost.
  • Whatever the justification for the intrusion, if there are less intrusive means of achieving the same end at a reasonably comparable cost, the less intrusive means ought to be preferred. There is no reason to erode Americans' privacy when equivalent results can be achieved without doing so.
  • Any new system developed and implemented must be designed to be tolerable in the long term. The war against terror, uniquely, is one with no immediately foreseeable end. Thus, excessive intrusions may not be justified as emergency measures that will lapse upon the termination of hostilities. Policymakers must be restrained in their actions; Americans might have to live with their consequences for a long time."

Rosenzweig also argues that from these general principles, other more concrete conclusions regarding the development and construction of any new technology can be derived:

  • No new system should alter or contravene existing legal restrictions on the government's ability to access data about private individuals. Any new system should mirror and implement existing legal limitations on domestic or foreign activity, depending upon its sphere of operation.
  • Similarly, no new system should alter or contravene existing operational system limitations. Development of new technology is not a basis for authorizing new government powers or new government capabilities. Any such expansion should be independently justified.
  • No new system that materially affects citizens' privacy should be developed without specific authorization by the American people's representatives in Congress and without provisions for their oversight of the operation of the system.
  • Any new system should be, to the maximum extent practical, tamper-proof. To the extent the prevention of abuse is impossible, any new system should have built-in safeguards to ensure that abuse is both evident and traceable.
  • Similarly, any new system should, to the maximum extent practical, be developed in a manner that incorporates technological improvements in the protection of American civil liberties.
  • Finally, no new system should be implemented without the full panoply of protections against its abuse. As James Madison told the Virginia ratifying convention, "There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations."
Students will be encouraged to think about whether these standards are the right ones for preserving civil liberties and what sorts of security measures would meet them.


HRT (Health Related Technology) students are unique in that they're preparing themselves to enter the field of medicine. Most of these students are advanced, and they do very well in both Science and Mathematics. They have a rigorous curriculum that they have to adhere to which includes courses such as anatomy and physiology and medical terminology, to name a few. Most students complete 3-4 years of science and math and Advanced Placement English and math. For this reason I believe that students will enjoy the challenge of researching anthrax, since it is a relatively recent phenomenon in medicine.

The debate portion of the unit is also a fun and exciting portion that I'm sure that the remaining portion of my students will enjoy. Most of these students have aspirations of becoming entrepreneurs. I believe that the strategies that they will learn during this debate will take them a long way. They will learn how to analyze arguments and give appropriate reasoning for them. These skills are very necessary for good work skills and ethics, whether they be for co-workers, bosses, or for their subordinates. Oftentimes students are applying for trade schools in their junior years, and the applications require them to write essays that deal with arguments having clear theses and reasoning.

As a preliminary exercise for thinking about what kinds of security measures are useful and appropriate, it will be helpful for students to engage in some hand-on activities. Because of the ongoing anthrax scare where spores have been placed in various types of envelopes, all students will learn to identify suspicious pieces of mail by looking for the following:

  • No return address
  • Misspelled words or incorrect titles
  • Unknown persons on return address
  • Excessive postage
  • Restrictive directions such as "personal", "confidential", etc.
  • Lopsided or bulky
  • Strange odor
  • Badly typed or written information
  • Addressed to a title only such as "President", "Manager", "Security", etc
  • Excessive wrapping, tape, or string
  • Oily stains, discolorations or crystallizations on wrapper
  • Powdery substances inside the package

They will be asked to consider whether it is right to open letters with such features and to think about how they would feel if mail they sent or mail sent to them was opened for these reasons.

Once students understand, the basic nature of the anthrax threat and similar safety and security threats, as well as the possible costs of civil liberties of efforts to protect against them, students will be able to explore desirable ways to respond through a variety of methods. Those proposed here are designed to help students fulfill many of the Pennsylvania Academic Standards, particularly the Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening Standards. The State of Pennsylvania defines those standards as follows:

"The Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening Standards describe what students should know and be able to do with the English language on the eleventh grade level. The Standards provide the targets for instruction and student learning essential for success in every academic area, since all disciplines stem from a foundation of Reading and Writing. Although standards are not a curriculum or a prescribed series of activities, use of them in the Philadelphia school district is paramount to meeting local student's needs learn and make sense of their world. They use these standards to read about science, mathematics, history, and other content areas as well as topics of personal interest to them during their leisure time. The standards define the skills and strategies employed by effective readers and writers, hence at one time or another all teachers will assist their students in learning them through multiple classroom situations in every subject area" (Pennsylvania Academic Standards).

The objectives will vary according to the shop major of each student. Each class has a combination of students from each shop. My plan is to teach this unit with each student's vocational trade in mind.

  • HRT (Health Related Technology) students will focus on doing the research aspect of this unit and create a Power Point presentation showing their findings.
  • Students in the remaining shops will get to participate in the debate surrounding anthrax.
  • All students will do a final research paper about a civil liberty issue that affected them personally either directly or indirectly.

The HRT students are those that will be entering the field of medicine. The majority of these students are females. The portion of this unit that deals with the different types of anthrax and their effects may be of interest to these students, because they're usually fascinated with research as it relates to medicine. Students in HRT have had this shop for approximately two years before they get a Chemistry class. Consequently, they're used to doing extensive research on different diseases in medicine. I have found these students to be highly intelligent and they absolutely love to learn all that they can about the field of medicine. These students tend to be visual learners, and I know that the use of power point to presents their findings on the different types of anthrax and the anthrax vaccine will be fun and challenging to them.

Students in the remaining shops, (i.e. auto body, carpentry, culinary arts etc.) will certainly benefit from doing the debate surrounding the discussion of vocational safety. The majority of these students are males, and they enjoy hands-on learning. These students get extensive lectures and tests on taking safety and precautions in their shops. For every unit that's taught, shop teachers give students clear and direct instruction on the usage of different tools and machines. Because of students' eagerness to work in the shop, they quickly learn and retain all of the safety measures so that they can get to work on different projects that their teachers assign. This knowledge of the importance of safety will help them think about safety and civil liberties issues.

One of my goals for this unit is to have students learn how to debate properly different topics that I will assign to them. My next goal is for them to learn by discussion the pros and cons of safety in the industry. After debating about these topics and having arguments for and against safety, I hope that this will help students see things from a richer perspective.

Most of the shops will debate topics such as the following:

Debate Question #1: Students will be asked to decide whether safety and security against bioterrorist threats like anthrax justify America spending billions of dollars to protect our country?

Possible affirmative arguments: "The threat is not only present, it is also still increasing. The evidence of terrorists developing biological weapons has recently been established by a presidential commission. Our country was and still is living in fear from the threat of biological, chemical and radiological weapons. The person or people behind the anthrax attacks were here at home, and may still be here, undetected and certainly uncaught. America is still left in a query as to how to deal with the anthrax scare, while administration intends to stay a step ahead of this kind of enemy by producing vaccines and treatments needed for the most serious biological and chemical agents. However we are still at risk of a biological war on American soil that we are not yet prepared to win, because of the unknown." (Washington Post, July 21, 2005)

Possible negative arguments: Not clear that really effective vaccines can be found for all forms of biological weapons; not clear that research is the best use of the money as opposed to other anti-terrorist security measures or maybe even altering policies that may provoke terrorism. Not sure that anthrax, in particular, can be detected in a timely fashion (1-3 days) so that it could be treated with antibiotics.

Debate Question #2: Students will be asked to decide whether safety and security justify hundreds of Americans being given the anthrax vaccine.

Debate Question #3: Do safety and security justify Americans mail being opened and searched because of the above description of suspicious pieces of mail? Should people be stopped and searched because they're carrying luggage and packages while traveling?

After the HRT students complete their Power Point assignment and students in other shops complete their debates, all will turn to the last assignment. The final research paper portion of this unit is something that I'm sure everyone will enjoy. Most adolescents love to talk about themselves and their experiences. This portion of the unit will be more like a reflection on what they've already experienced. Once students have a clear understanding of what civil liberties are and how they're often infringed upon, they will certainly enjoy doing the research portion of this unit.

Lesson Plans

Lesson Plan 1: Biological Research Paper

The first step will be to introduce the HRT (Health Related Technology) students with background information about anthrax.

Definition of Anthrax on the web (

Anthrax is an acute infectious disease caused by the bacteria Bacillus anthraces and is highly lethal in its most virulent form. Anthrax most commonly occurs in wild and domestic herbivores, but it can also occur in humans when they are exposed to infected animals, tissue from infected animals, or high concentration of anthrax spores. Still there are no cases of people who got sick through contact with a diseased person. Anthrax means "coal" in Greek, and is used because victims develop black skin lesions.
Then, each student in the HRT (Health-Related Technology) shops will do a 3-5 page research paper from the following topics:
  • The origin of Anthrax
  • How is Anthrax exposed: occupational, exposure to dead animals etc.
  • The pulmonary (pneumonic, respiratory, inhalation) means of exposure to Anthrax
  • The gastrointestinal (gastro enteric) means of exposure to Anthrax
  • Cutaneous (skin) means of exposure to Anthrax
  • Safety/Protection - cautions used when confronted with Anthrax
Guidelines for student's research paper are explicitly stated below. As a teacher, I have found that it is very important to be clear and direct in giving instructions on how to do a research paper. Students come from all different backgrounds and perceptions of how a paper should be written. I have had students do projects in all different colors and fonts that I didn't even know existed. For this reason, I've come up with these specific guidelines for students to follow. Each student's paper will be graded using a rubric with the following guidelines stated. I will check each paper to assure that guidelines are adhered to, and for those that are not it will reflect in their grade.

Each paper must be done using the following guidelines:

  • 1 1/2 inch margins around the entire paper (top, bottom, left, and right).
  • All material must be typed using with a 12-point type.
  • The font must be in Times Roman.
  • All research papers must include a cover sheet with your name, date, title and title "Health-Related Technology".
  • All research papers should include photographs, and or graphics that relate to the topic of interest (see above).
  • Papers must also include a bibliography that cites the origin of your resources.
Guidelines for student presentations

Each student must then give a 5-10 minute presentation of what their research paper is about. Students should not read verbatim from their research papers. A brief synopsis will suffice. Students should also be prepared to answer questions from other students pertaining to their topic if any questions arise. Visual aids are also necessary for all students. Students that are interested in using the overhead projector must create their own slides, and schedule a time to present their finding within the allotted time.

Technology application

Goals for the lesson: Students will construct information from a technological point of view.
  1. Using the internet and other multimedia resources as a tool to gain research information.
  2. To observe and evaluate information about Civil Liberties, and copy and paste into a word document.
  3. Students will also make up a power-point presentation that they will present to the class about a clear and concise example of "Civil Liberties".
Students will be immersed in a technological environment that coincides with real world experiences. Students will work in cooperative learning groups allowing for a diverse learning environment.
  1. Students will work in cooperative learning groups allowing for a diverse learning environment (i.e. hands-on computer stations) that is suitable to the needs of a variety of learning styles.
  2. Students will be using an educational tool that is fun and exciting to them, and this will foster open discussion and group learning, allowing teachers to facilitate as students work.
  3. Students will be actively engaged in higher-order thinking skills.
Anticipated difficulties:

Students will need to be relatively familiar with the intricacies of the Internet. They should also know the basics of how to create a simple power point presentation. A list of websites has been compiled below to help engage the learning process.

Instructional materials needed:

-computer workstations with internet capability

-word document worksheet

-overhead projector hooked up to a computer for classroom display

-screen to display the computer projection, and PowerPoint presentation

These particular goals relate to broader curriculum in that students will be reading for understanding, practicing accessing information form the internet, making a power point presentation and creating a word document using the information they collected. The knowledge that students will gain are also transferable to any other subject area.


Lesson Plan #2 - Debates

Part 1

My first step is to provide students with background information, by defining the term Civil Liberties.

Definitions of Civil Liberties on the Web:

  • Freedoms that protect the individual from arbitrary government interference (as with the freedom of speech and movement) (
  • Rights "given to the people by the Constitution, Common Law, or legislation that enables an individual to be free to think, assemble, speak, organize, worship, or petition without interference or restraint. Civil liberties are protective in nature" (
The specific guidelines for conducting a debate are the following:

Debate Approach

A. Guidelines for Conducting a Debate

Discussion often calls for the cooperative thinking of members of a group in search of a solution or approach to a specific situation. Debate, on the other hand, begins with the assumption that the debaters have already found a solution or approach to a specific situation and their intention is to persuade others that their solution or approach is the proper one. The method of debate can be an effective device for encouraging participants to clearly and logically form arguments based upon evidence to support their positions and to develop a sense of efficacy in their ability to change policy or sway public opinion. A specific example of a way in which debate might be a useful tool is as a follow-up to a policy-making exercise. Participants in the minority who have not agreed with the policy established might use the debate as an effective means of trying to effect a change in public opinion which might in turn lead to a change in policy.

How to Proceed

  1. All participants will be assigned one of the three subjects above for the debate.
  2. Formulate the subject into a resolution (ex. should safety and security against bioterrorist threats like anthrax justify America spending billions of dollars to protect our country?)
  3. Select participants to take part in the debate and divide them into two teams, one team in support of the resolution and the other in opposition to the resolution. (The most common number of members per team is two but you may wish to have larger teams.)
  4. Select a chairman and a time-keeper.
  5. Allow sufficient time for participants in the debate to prepare "constructive arguments," (i.e., arguments based upon three to five major points logically developed and substantiated by factual evidence in support of their position.)
  6. Make certain that those participating in the debate are familiar with the procedures that will be followed.
  7. The Debate a. The chairman and the debaters are seated at the front of the audience usually with the team in favor of the resolution to the right of the chairman and the team in opposition to the resolution to the left of the chairman. b. The chairman briefly introduces the subject and the resolution that is to be debated. c. The chairman introduces the first speaker from the affirmative team. (Each speaker is introduced when he is given the floor.) d. The first speaker from the affirmative team is allowed a set time to present his constructive argument. The time-keeper seated in the audience, will inform him when his time is up. e. The first speaker from the team in opposition to the resolution is introduced and asked to give his constructive argument. (This alternating procedure is continued until each debater has given his constructive argument; those who follow will probably need to adjust their prepared speeches to allow for what has already been said by preceding speakers.) The Rebuttal Arguments follow the Constructive Arguments. At this time, each debater is given the opportunity to weaken the position of his opponents by further attacking their position and by answering attacks that have been made upon his position. (No new issues may be introduced during rebuttal arguments and rebuttal arguments always begin with the team in Opposition to the resolution.) g. At the end of the debate, the chairman makes a few concluding remarks and the debate are over. 8. Evaluation. Each team will be evaluated by me, the teacher, as to the success of the debating teams by informally polling the class to determine how many people agree with the team in opposition to the resolution. Students will be asked to explain whether their own positions were strengthened or changed as a result of hearing the debate and to explain why.
B. Principal Responsibilities of the Teacher
  1. To select one of the subjects or questions for debate from above.
  2. To insure that participants are familiar with the procedures for conducting a debate.
  3. To help participants see the dimensions of the problem and develop clear logical arguments supported by evidence in support of the position they defend in the debate.
  4. To help participants gain an understanding of some of the implicit values in debate such as learning to make convincing arguments from another frame of reference (as might be the case if one is debating a position that does not correspond with one's true position) which should further develop participants' abilities to understand and respect the rights of individuals to hold opinions and beliefs that are different from their own.
  5. tandard debate method -

Part III

Lesson Plan 3 - Final Research Paper about a personal Civil Liberty Issue

  1. All students must do a 3-5 page paper on a Civil Liberty issue that they've experienced either personally or indirectly.
  2. Follow the format for a research paper stated above (see part I).
  3. Have fun!!!!

Examples of personal civil liberty issues

  1. The right to privacy: according to the courts, this right includes the right to make fundamental decisions (relating in particular to family matters) without governmental interference.
  2. The right against unreasonable searches and seizures: can law enforcement officials stop persons at airports, on trains, buses, or on the street, simply because they judge the persons to look like possible terrorists? If they stop suspects, can they search their clothes and belongings?
  3. The right to free expression: should the government be able on a routine basis to monitor cell phone and wire phone calls? E-mail? Letters and packages?
  4. The right to buy: can the government control the sale of medical, biological and chemical supplies that may have many important legitimate uses, but that might also be used to make weapons or illegal drugs?
  5. The right to free exercise of religion: can the government constitutionally treat Muslims as more suspect and more subject to restrictions than other religious believers, because they are thought more likely to be terrorists?

Annotated Bibliography for Teachers

Center for Disease Control and Prevention, "Anthrax: What You Need to Know,", accessed on July 27, 2005. A useful summary by the nation's leading agency for disease control.

Goldenberg, Anna, Galit Shmueli, Richard A. Caruana, and Stephen E. Fienberg. "Early statistical detection of anthrax outbreaks by tracking over-the-counter medication sales.", accessed on July 29, 2005. Useful information on uses of anthrax as a biological weapon as well as ways to combat it.

Leppla, S. (2001). A dominant-negative therapy for anthrax.", accessed on Web site July 25, 2005. Article discusses anthrax and its effects as a preventive and therapeutic vaccine.

Radiant Justice Terrorism Series, "Civil Liberties.", accessed on July 25, 2005. Discussion of civil liberties and terrorism tensions by a Michigan activist group.

Rainwater, Janette. 2001. "About Anthrax.", accessed on July 25, 2005. Includes facts, useful links, and critical analysis of the U.S. government's responses to the anthrax scare.

Rosenzweig, Paul. 2003. "Securing Freedom and the Nation: Collecting Intelligence Under the Law.", accessed August 19, 2005.

New Jersey Health Association. "Update: Investigation of Bioterrorism-Related anthrax and Interim guidelines for clinical evaluation of persons with possible Anthrax.", accessed on July 29, 2005. CDC report details anthrax incidents and discusses guidelines for evaluating persons with anthrax.

Washington Post. "Articles about Anthrax.", accessed on August 19, 2005. A compilation of articles and editorials on the anthrax attacks.

Student Resources

CSA Illumina. "Glossary." , accessed July 28, 2005. A general information site that defines terms pertinent to security and civil liberties.

JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) - Volume 287 No. 17, May 1, 2002. "Anthrax as a biological weapon.", accessed on July 28, 2005. Article on anthrax and its usage as a biological weapon.

JAMA - Volume 287 No. 7, February 20, 2002. "Fatal Inhalation Anthrax in a 94- yr old Connecticut woman.", accessed on July 28, 2005. Case report on an anthrax victim.

Legal-Explanations.Com. "Civil Liberties.", accessed on August 18, 2005. A succinct definition of civil liberties, focused on the First Amendment's provisions.

National Center for Policy Analysis, "Debate Central: Legal Issues and Definitions —Civil Liberties.", accessed on August 18, 2005. A website that contains many materials pertinent to debates over civil liberties as well as other topics.

NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information). Krenzelok E.P., Allswede M.P., Mrvos R. "The poison center role in biological and chemical terrorism.", accessed on July 28, 2005. Lots of information on chemical warfare, nuclear warfare etc.

NCBI. Penn C.C., Klotz S.A. "Anthrax pneumonia.", accessed on July 28, 2005. Detailed article on inhalation anthrax.

Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. "Anthrax.", accessed on July 25, 2005. The leading online encyclopedia for student use.

List of Instructional Materials

1. How to prepare a PowerPoint presentation for a debate:, accessed July 28, 2005., accessed July 28, 2005.

3. How to conduct a debate:, accessed July 28, 2005.

4. Sample topics of civil liberty topics on the web at, "Civil Liberties,", accessed July 28, 2005.

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