The Kemper Human Rights Education Foundationis offering a $1,000 first prize and a $500 second prize to high school students in the United States who are judged to have written the best answers to the following question on American civil liberties and human rights: “The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) claims that ‘US government policies continue to sanction [that is, condone or permit] human rights violations against immigrants. Do you think the ACLU is right? If so, what policies, laws, or other factors (political, economic, cultural, etc.) are responsible for the violations and what actions should be employed to end them? If you think the ACLU is wrong, explain why it is wrong.” The essays will be judged according to how clearly and effectively students answer the question posed and the extent to which their responses are supported by research.
Deadlines: December 10, 2018 (Human Rights Day), for submissions; winners will be announced and awards presented on January 14, 2019
The Stanford History Education Group (SHEG) has developed assessments of civiconline reasoning—the ability to judge the credibility of the information that floods young people’s smartphones, tablets, and computer screens. Discussions about politics and public policy, for example, increasingly take place on social media.
Prior to the 2018 midterm elections, Facing History and Ourselves created a teaching idea that offers approaches to addressing the results of the midterms with students, no matter what the outcome. By giving students time to pause and reflect, process and think critically, teachers can model civil discourse and support their students’ civic development.
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) works to educate students and the general public on the importance of free speech to a thriving democratic society. FIRE’s Free Speech EssayContest is now open to juniors and seniors in US high schools, including homeschooled students, and US citizens attending schools overseas.