Meet the Being an American Essay Contest Winners

March 24th, 2011 by

Over 24,000 students from all over the country submitted essays for this year’s Being an American Essay Contest. In their essays, each student wrote about a civic value and a historical figure who they believe best represented the American value. On Tuesday night, the Institute hosted a gala celebrating the 27 student finalists and their Read more…

Being an American Essay Contest: Day 3!

March 23rd, 2011 by

While it’s tough to top a trip on to the House floor on Monday, we tried to make Tuesday even more exciting. We started the day with a jaunt over to the White House, so the students could see where the President lives! (Unfortunately, President Obama was in Latin America while we were in D.C., Read more…

Being an American Essay Contest: Day 2!

March 21st, 2011 by

What an incredible day for the student winners of the Being an American Essay Contest! First, we kicked off the day at the National Archives, where everyone went into the Rotunda to see the original copies of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. The students enjoyed the opportunity to see Read more…

Being an American Essay Contest: Day 1!

March 20th, 2011 by

Our Being an American Essay Contest winners arrived in Washington, D.C.! I got to meet Neva, Ady, Ryan, and so many other talented, cool high school students as they checked into their hotel rooms today. I love being on the ground and meeting the students! The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners, their teachers, and parents were Read more…

Daily News Headlines: Funeral Protests as Protected Speech, Property Rights versus Privacy, and Teen Tanning

March 17th, 2011 by

Did you see our recent lesson plan on Snyder v. Phelps (2011), the Westboro Baptist Church funeral protest case? The case and its First Amendment implications caused very heated debates–debates that managed to leave Albert Snyder, the soldier’s father and the plaintiff, and Julie Francis, the soldier’s mother, on opposite sides of the issue. In Read more…

Students: Is your name and school record public information?

March 11th, 2011 by

A contentious court case in Illinois is making students re-evaluate the assumption of privacy of their personal information at public universities. The Chronicle of Higher Education is reporting that FERPA, the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, does not necessarily prohibit schools from releasing student information like name, address, GPA, and test scores to outside Read more…

Liberty, Responsibility, and the New Deal

March 8th, 2011 by

Recently the Bill of Rights Institute hosted a colloquium on the topic of “Liberty, Responsibility, and the New Deal”. I had the pleasure of talking with several social studies teachers about the extended debate that occurred between Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover on the appropriate role of national government in response to a time Read more…