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Virginia School Boards Association Student Essay Contest

posted Jan 31, 2020, 6:47 AM by Terri Morrison   [ updated Feb 24, 2020, 6:45 AM ]
This contest is designed to give High School students in Virginia an opportunity to express creative ideas and concepts, conduct research, think critically, practice public speaking skills and subsequently receive recognition for doing so. The winner will have an opportunity to present before an audience of more than 300 school board members and administrators at the 2020 VSBA Conference on Education held July 21 at the Short Pump Hilton. 

Essay Topic: Can and should freedom of expression and civility co-exist? In the name of the First Amendment and the freedom of expression it guarantees, rancorous rhetoric is fast becoming more commonplace across our country, causing many to wonder if it's any longer safe or beneficial to engage in democratic discourse. Is there a way to participate in conversations where various opinions and options for solving problems of common concern, weighing alternatives, resolving differences and co-existing without acrimony and hostility are possible? Is practicing civility (reasoned public discourse where respect, restraint, responsibility, and empathy co-exist with free expression) still as important as self-governance, freedom of expression and individual dignity or does civility hamper free-expression?  

Guidebook available in the Counseling office and below.

Deadline to high school Counseling office: March 20, 2020