2023 Essay Contest Prompts
Grades 3 - 8
The First Amendment protects freedom of speech. What happens when people are free to say anything they want in person or online? For example, yelling "fire" in a crowded room or posting hateful words on social media. What kind of free speech situations require a judge or police officer to get involved to keep the peace?
Grades 9 - 12
In 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a high school cheerleader could not be punished in school for using curse words on social media when commenting about not making the cheer team while she was off school grounds. Do you think students should be held to the same standard when exercising their First Amendment right to freedom of speech whether they’re on or off school property? Decide if there are circumstances where students should be punished by a court of law for what they say or write to maintain civility.