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high school essay contest: Freedom in Academia

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  • crwropps@aol.com
    FIRE’s “Freedom in Academia” Essay Contest  http://www.thefire.org/index.php/article/9253.html  The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 6 9:44 AM
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      FIRE’s “Freedom in Academia” Essay Contest 


      http://www.thefire.org/index.php/article/9253.html%c2%a0





      The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is pleased to announce its first annual “Freedom in 


      Academia” essay contest. High school students from across the U.S. are invited to write an in-depth essay 


      explaining why free speech and First Amendment rights are crucial to higher education and how abuses of 


      these rights harm education.   


       


      One first place winner will be awarded a college scholarship of $5,000. 


      The second place winner will receive a $2,500 college scholarship. 


      Deadline: November 20, 2008 


      Winners Announced: December 19, 2008 





      FIRE’s Mission 


       


      FIRE’s mission is to defend and sustain individual rights at America’s colleges and universities. These rights 


      include freedom of speech, legal equality, due process, religious liberty, and sanctity of conscience—the 


      essential qualities of individual liberty and dignity. FIRE’s core mission is to protect the unprotected and to 


      educate the public and communities of concerned Americans about the threats to these rights on our 


      campuses and about the means to preserve them. 


       


      Instructions 


       


      1. Go to FIRE’s website at www.thefire.org and familiarize yourself with FIRE and FIRE’s issues.  


       


      2. Click on FIRE’s multimedia button. Watch two short videos about real students who were censored 


      and punished for speech that is protected by the U.S. Constitution.  


       


      Video #1: FIRE on Campus: An Introduction to the Foundation for Individual Rights in 


      Education 


      This video serves as an introduction to FIRE, its principles and issues, and its commitment to liberty 


      on campus. It then turns to FIRE’s case at San Francisco State University, where students endured 


      a months-long investigation for stomping on Hamas and Hezbollah flags during an anti-terrorism 


      protest. It also discusses campus speech codes. 


       


      Video #2: FIRE in Action: Valdosta State University 


      This short film highlights FIRE’s fight against Valdosta State University’s (VSU’s) unconstitutional 


      free speech zone policy and chronicles FIRE’s victory on behalf of VSU student T. Hayden Barnes, 


      who was expelled for engaging in a peaceful protest.  


       


      3. Answer the Essay Question: In 700 – 1200 words, please discuss the videos you have seen and 


      explain how these universities betrayed the purpose of a university and violated the constitutional 


      guarantees of free expression. Focus on why such codes and practices are incompatible with higher 


      education and why free speech is important in our nation’s colleges and universities.  


       


      4. Submit your essays to scholarships(at)thefire.org (replace (at) with @). All essays should be submitted to FIRE by 


      November 20, 2008. Include your name, contact information, school, and school address on the top, 


      right hand corner of your essay. You may also mail your essay to:  


      FIRE 


      Attn: Essay Scholarship Contest 


      601 Walnut Street, Suite 510 


      Philadelphia, PA 19106 


       


      FIRE is a nonprofit educational foundation that unites civil rights and civil liberties leaders, scholars, 


      journalists, and public intellectuals from across the political and ideological spectrum on behalf of individual 


      rights, due process, freedom of expression, academic freedom, and rights of conscience at our nation’s 


      colleges and universities.  


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