Bill of Rights Worksheet

Mr. Hanel

Peterson Middle School

Eighth Grade Social Studies

Room A-3


Directions:  For each of the following examples decide which amendment is involved, and which rights are being violated (if any), and what would you do in that situation?   If you need more room, answer on a separate sheet of paper.

 1.  Mrs. Jones hears a knock at the door. She opens the door and finds 3 police officers asking if they can come into her home to talk about neighborhood safety. She is very friendly and so she says yes. While sitting in the living room one of the officers sees a bomb under the sofa and gets up to get it. Mrs. Jones is immediately arrested.

2.  Sam Davis is planning a public meeting in front of the town library to protest against a new city tax for playgrounds. He has filed all of his permits and the city has said that he can have his meeting. The night before the meeting, however, the mayor finds out that Sam was arrested 2 years ago in another town for starting a riot. On the day of the meeting, police show up to prevent the meeting and Sam is not allowed to hold his meeting.

 3.  Gina DeLong has lived in her home for 26 years. During that time the city has tripled in population, traffic is a mess, and there just are not enough roads. Tuesday morning the sheriff came to her house and told her that she had to move because a new road was going to be built right through her house. When she complains that she has lived there for so long and doesn't want to move, she is told, "Too bad, you have 30 days to get out."

4.  Kennedy Elementary School is a normal school, so it surprised everyone when the principal, Mrs. Salinas, decided that all students could have extra holidays from school for the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. Most of the students were happy, but some parents were mad because they didn't have baby-sitters.

 5.  Hans Schlemming was new to this country. In Germany he was an auto mechanic. On Saturday night he was coming out of a store and the police arrested him for stealing. He said he didn't do anything, but the police were convinced that they had the right person. When he told them that he wanted a lawyer, one of the policemen said, "You don't need a lawyer, you guilty pig. You and your German friends killed my grandfather during the war. I know that you're guilty. We're locking you up and throwing away the key."

 6.  Stephanie Manus was arrested, tried, and convicted of kidnapping. There was no doubt that she was guilty. The judge said, "I can either send you to prison for 12 years or I can make you shave your head and make you stand on the freeway for 8 hours a day so that you will know what it is like to be scared." "Prison is too good for you," said the judge.

7.  Mr. Wiegold had worked in the same place for 36 years and only had one raise. He felt like the boss owed him something, so one day he took a computer home and kept it. When the boss found out he had him arrested. Mr. Wiegold demanded a trial because he said he was innocent. But the boss and the police said he didn't get a trial because they already caught him with the stolen computer, he was guilty.

8.  At a gun collecting show, George Samuels picked out 13 guns that he wanted to add to his expensive collection of guns from the 1800s. When he tried to pay for the 13 guns he was told by a security guard that he wasn't allowed to take so many guns. The security guard would only allow George to buy 5 guns because the Constitution allows citizens to have one gun per family member.

9.  Trina Lening and her friends had recently robbed a liquor store. Trina's friend Lori did not help, she was sick at home. When the police picked up all of the girls the following Friday, they arrested the whole group including Lori. At the trial, Lori said that she was innocent and could prove it because she had witnesses. But her witnesses were her friends, and if they said she wasn't there, it would mean that they were at the liquor store.

10.  The city of Manville was in crisis. For 3 days there had been riots and fires. The National Guard was called out to restore peace. When officers showed at Mrs. Mayberry's door demanding some food and a place to sleep she was so afraid of their guns that she let them in and gave them what they wanted.

11.  Gennie, an eighteen year old college student, is arrested for stealing a classmate’s designer sweater and selling it on eBay.  When Gennie appears before a judge, she asks for a lawyer to help defend her.  The judge tells Gennie that if she is smart enough to be in college, she knows enough to defend herself.  Besides, she is not charged with a felony, so the stakes are not very high.

12.  Susette bought a house and spent years restoring it. She loves her home. One day, she gets a notice that the local government is going to take her property in order to turn her land over to a private company. Th­e local government says it can take Susette’s home because the new jobs and tax revenue created by the company will benefit the public.

 13.  Carolyn is arrested for shoplifting a candy bar from a grocery store. At trial, she is found guilty. ­The judge decides that the right punishment is to cut off Carolyn’s hands so she will not be able to shoplift again.

 14.  Congress wants to find ways to cut costs because of the soaring budget deficit. Congress passes a law to require American citizens to house US soldiers in their homes during peacetime.

 15.  Brett’s science teacher asks the class to exchange papers to correct last night’s homework. Brett refuses to let anyone except the teacher see his homework paper, and is sent to the principal.

 16.  Concerned about rising crime, lawmakers for the District of Columbia ban all handguns in the city, and require that shot-guns be kept unloaded and/or disassembled.

 17.  John, a fourteen year old public school student, wears a shirt to school that says “Be happy, not gay” to express his belief that homosexuality is wrong. His dean tells him he must change his shirt or be suspended from school.  John refuses, and is suspended for a week.

 18.  Thirteen year old Marianne is a freshman in high school. She is an honor student and wants to sing in the choir. When she arrives at choir practice, the teacher tells her she must take a drug test if she wants to participate in any extra-curricular activities. Marianne refuses and is kicked out of choir.

 19.  A man suspected of a violent crime is brought in to the police station. The alleged victim picks him out of a lineup as the man who attacked her. Police inform him that he has the right to refuse to answer questions, but they do not offer to let him speak to a lawyer. After being questioned for two hours, the man admits the crime.

 20.  Elizabeth is twelve years old. Her parents are very religious, but she is not. Once a week, Elizabeth’s parents make her come with them to their place of worship. Elizabeth always says she does not want to go, but her parents make her come with them anyway.

 21.  Members of Congress are unhappy with students’ standardized test scores. ­they pass a federal law that abolishes local school boards and requires a national, standardized curriculum.

 22.  A public school principal smells smoke in the hallway, and believes it is coming from the girls’ bathroom. She walks into the bathroom and finds Susan standing by the sink. She suspects Susan has been smoking, and demands to search her purse for cigarettes or other evidence of smoking


Work by yourself and decide which amendment is the most important for citizens living in this country. If you could only have one amendment to protect you, which would it be, and why?