The Right to Privacy

"The Most Valued and Comprehensive Right"

Emerging America


In the 21st century, it’s hard to say that privacy even exists in our society. Is Alexa listening to our every word? Is the FBI using facial recognition technology? Can our phone providers track our every move? Can government officials access all this data? Yet, in 1928, Justice Brandeis deemed privacy the most comprehensive and valued right of civilization.

This course will explore how the constitutional right to privacy developed; how it is applied; and the threats it faces today—from sexual to virtual. Neither the original body of the Constitution nor the Bill of Rights explicitly refers to a right to privacy, yet many amendments, like the 3rd, 4th, and 5th, clearly relate.

Throughout the 20th and into the 21st century, the Supreme Court has used a penumbra of rights through multiple amendments to establish the right to privacy in order to protect rights like access to birth control and abortion. The courts continually face the challenge of applying a 200+ year old document to constantly changing technology like infrared cameras, GPS devices and cell phones. As Justice Brandeis asserted in his famous dissent in Olmstead v. United States, lack of privacy can have a chilling effect on the intellectual and spiritual development of individuals. Understanding the right to privacy is more fundamental today than ever before. As new technology develops and cultural shifts occur, we can expect that privacy will continue to be at the forefront of constitutional debate for many years to come.

Audience and Grade Level

Teachers; Grades 4 - 12 


67.5 PDPs will be awarded to participants upon completion of this training, in addition to outside reading and assignments (as per DESE regulations). 

Participants may choose instead to take this course for 3 graduate credits in partnership with Westfield State University. To earn PDPs or Graduate Credit, participants must complete all assignments. Graduate Credit from Westfield State University costs $325. 


Future training dates will be announced here. If you have questions or are interested in offering this training on-site, please contact us.


  • thumbnail image of Kelley Brown

    Kelley Brown is a Social Studies educator at Easthampton High School where she has taught for the last 20 years. She is also the Professional Development Coordinator. She focuses on bringing primary sources and disciplinary literacy skills into the Social Studies classroom for all students.

  • thumbnail image of David Hudson

    David L. Hudson, Jr., an Assistant Professor of Law, teaches Legal Information and Communication at Belmont University. He is the author, co-author, or co-editor of more than 40 books. For much of his career, he has worked on First Amendment issues. He serves as a Justice Robert H.


A maximum class size is set for each course and registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. If the number of registrations for a course exceeds the maximum seats available or is too low to be able to conduct a quality learning experience, CES will inform you of available options.

Course Cancellation

If you wish to cancel your registration, please submit a request in writing (via mail, email or fax) no later than 7 business days before the workshop’s start date. After that, there are no refunds or billing adjustments.

In the event that a course is cancelled by the Collaborative for Educational Services, we will notify you as soon as possible. Please be sure to provide your best email address and phone number so we can contact you. Although every effort is made to avoid last minute cancellations, if an emergency arises, we will do our best to reach you at the phone number and email address you provide. 

Inclement Weather

Any delays or cancellations are posted online at You may also call 413.588.5979 after 6:30am for information about classes that day. Or for Early Childhood Professional Development information, please call 413.588.5570.