The winner of our essay contest. This page is now archived, and is no longer being updated. 6.16/04

2004 Bill of Rights Student Essay Contest Rules

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The Southeastern Chapter of the WV American Civil Liberties Union, in an effort to promote understanding of the importance of the Bill of Rights in guaranteeing civil liberties for all Americans, is sponsoring an essay contest. Any student attending public, private, or home school in Southeastern WV (Pocahontas, Greenbrier, Monroe, Fayette, Raleigh, Summers and Mercer Counties is eligible to participate. A $100 Cash Prize for the top essay on one of the following topics will be awarded:

1. How do we protect the Bill of Rights in time of war? Discuss The USA Patriot Act which allows FBI agents to secretly obtain information on what books and magazines you read at libraries, obtain your medical and financial records, and track your e-mails and Internet use without a search warrant.

2. Would you draw the line on the Right To Bear Arms guaranteed by the Second Amendment? If so, where would that be - at handguns, hunting rifles, bazookas, automatic assault weapons, SCUD missiles or nuclear warheads? If not, justify your answer.

3. Which amendment or amendments in the Bill of Rights do you consider the most important for the Twenty-first Century?

4. Which amendment or amendments in the Bill of Rights do you consider the most threatened in the Twenty-first Century?

5. Choose to write about your own topic relating the personal relevance of the Bill of Rights to you and/or your peers.

Essays should be approximately 500 words and must be solely the work of the student. If sources are used, they must be identified within the text of the essay. Essays should be typed and double spaced. Please number the pages.

The following information must be included with each essay on a separate sheet of paper: writer's name, home address, telephone number, name of school (or parent's name if home-schooled), and current grade level.

All entries must be postmarked by May 28, 2004. Essays must be submitted by mail to: Southeastern Chapter of the ACLU-WV, c/o Naomi Cohen, 117 E. Washington St., Lewisburg, WV 24901.

The winner will be awarded a $100 cash prize and will read his or her essay at the June 14, 2004, Celebration of the Bill of Rights event in Lewisburg, West Virginia. All essays become the property of The Southeastern Chapter of the ACLU-WV which reserves the right to reprint essays in future ACLU publications, including web-sites, and to submit essays to the local press.