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Oklahoma Bar Association

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Law Day

Contest Winners

The OBA Law Day Committee would like to thank Oklahoma educators, students and their families for participating in the 2019 Law Day Contest. This year, nearly 1,100 students from across the state entered the contest.

First- through 12th-grade students demonstrated their knowledge of the history and concepts of the theme through essays and multimedia art. Pre-K and kindergarten students were given a choice of coloring activity pages related to the theme, allowing them to show off their budding creative and writing abilities. For both elementary and secondary students, the contest gave them an opportunity to explore how the First Amendment helps guarantee and protect all Americans’ rights. Read about this year's contest on the Contest page.

Click on an entry to see it larger or continue reading.

Grand Prize Winner

Third Grade Art

Elizabeth Kwok, Oklahoma City

Pre-K Coloring

First Place

Jose Garcia, Temple

Second Place

Audrey Ellis, Stillwater

Honorable Mentions

Angus Jenny, Stillwater; Myla VanPelt, Stillwater

Kindergarten Coloring

First Place

Brooklyn Miller, Seiling

Second Place

Alyssa Crawford, Salina

Honorable Mention

Liam Smith, Seiling

First Grade Art

First Place

Brody Gilliam, Stillwater

Second Place

Josie Douglas, Shawnee

First Grade Writing

First Place

Amelia Kwok, Oklahoma City

Second Grade Art

First Place

Emmet Wilson, Stillwater

Second Place

Sophie Buchanan, Harrah

Honorable Mention

Kamden Quinata Stillwater

Second Grade Writing

First Place

Elijah McDaniel, Stillwater

Why The First Amendment is Important
Before the pilgrims came to America, they did not have the freedom to say what they wanted. If they said something bad about the king they could be thrown in jail. Then America won the Revolutionary War. When they were setting up our new government, they made sure that we had lots of freedoms, including the right to say what we believe, even if it isn't the same as our government. This freedom was included in the Bill of Rights, and I am glad I can say what I believe without being afraid of being thrown in jail. Read the full entry.

Second Place

Nia Murimi, Shawnee

Read the full entry.

Honorable Mention

Bruce Campbell, Stillwater

Third Grade Art

First Place

Dustin Hitchcock, Stillwater

Second Place

Trevor Boone, Stillwater

Third Grade Writing

First Place

Emma Kuehl, Stillwater

Freedom of Petition
The freedom of petition means you can tell the government what you think is right or wrong. This is important because people should be able to say what they feel about the laws and government without being afraid of going to jail. Our freedom to petition is also important because our leaders know that the American people are free to tell them what we think of the job they are doing. This means our leaders won't do anything too crazy because they know we can tell them they are crazy. Freedom of petition is important in keeping our laws balanced with what the people want and what the government wants. Read the full essay.

Second Place

Daisy Reid, Skiatook

Honorable Mentions

Izzy Rabineau, Oklahoma City; Kayden Summers, Pauls Valley

Fourth Grade Art

First Place

Paetyn Gilliam, Stillwater

 

Second Place

Avery Perkins, Yukon

Honorable Mention

Kennedy Epplin, Yukon

Fourth Grade Writing

First Place

Paetyn Gilliam, Stillwater

The Danger of a Silent World
Imagine our world if freedom of speech did not exist. Scientific discoveries may not be allowed to be published, knowledge may be withheld, minority groups' voices may not be heard, and the government could suppress the people.
In the 1600s Galileo discovered that the earth moved around the sun. The Catholic church believed that the sun moved around the earth and tried to keep Galileo silent. If they had succeeded our science would be skewed and scientific discoveries would have been slowed. It is important for us to have good knowledge even if it disagrees with tradition, religion, or previous scientific thoughts. Read the full essay. 

Second Place

Olivia Evans, Yukon

Read the full entry.

Honorable Mention

Coryor Beasley, Miami

Fifth Grade Art

First Place

Braden Hibler, Shawnee

Second Place

Melany Ramirez, Enid

Fifth Grade Writing

First Place

Ian Fiddler, Miami

Bill of Rights

The first ten amendments added to the Constitution are known as the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights was known to be the added freedom and so everyone always followed these rules of freedom, justice, and independence. I believe that we will always be united with our freedom, injustice, and liberty, and if nothing goes right we can always try our hardest to make it better than ever. I believe that the Bill of Rights was made for independence, justice for all, and liberty so nobody would be slaves and the government had no power over us. Read the full essay.

Second Place

Matthew Storey, Miami

Bill of Rights

The first ten amendments to the Constitution make up the Bill of Rights. James Madison wrote the amendments. Many delegates of the states were against signing the Constitution without a Bill of Rights included. It became a major issue in ratifying the Constitution in some states. As a result, James Madison wrote 12 amendments and presented them to the First Congress in 1789. On December 15, 1791 ten of the amendments were passed and made part of the Constitution. They would later become known as the Bill of Rights.

Honorable Mentions

Cambree Dixon, Miami; Kaylan Lewis, Miami

Sixth Grade Art

First Place

Lani Kauahquo, Hobart

Second Place

Aly Judkins, Hobart

 

Honorable Mention

Collin Billings, Stillwater

Sixth Grade Writing

First Place

Julia Chen, Oklahoma City

The First Amendment: Freedom Worth Preserving

It was late September in 1789. Representatives from each of the thirteen colonies were discussing an important strand of America's foundation: The Bill of Rights. Since America had earned her liberty from England, there were many new rights to protect. Her citizens deserved the freedoms of religion, speech and press, and the right to petition for change. Thus, the First Amendment was created. Read the entire essay.

Second Place

George Leydorf, Oklahoma City

England’s Influence

We saw these things that were wrong, so we fought for freedom, and when we gained freedom we made laws to stop the injustice ... Already you can see how England has affected our laws. If we hadn't seen the injustice then we could still be part of England, or we could have forgotten to make laws about these things and be the same as England. We saw and experienced the injustice of England and we broke away to make a fair country that injustice has helped shape who we are. Read the entire essay.

Seventh Grade Art

First Place

Hannah Joslin, Hobart

Second Place

McKenzie Findley, Stillwater

Seventh Grade Writing

First Place

Syreena Tallant, Blanchard

Iraq’s Bill of Rights

In Iraq the Bill of Rights significantly states in Article 13, which guarantees the keystone freedom of religion: Each Iraqi has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religious belief and practice … The Bill of Rights also protects freedom of expression, association, assembly, movement, privacy, women's rights, and rights to own property, fair trial and basic due process, including freedom from torture. Read the entire essay.

Second Place

Davis Lynn, Oklahoma City

Bill of Rights – Comparing U.S. and Japan

The individual rights listed in Japan's constitution go further than the U.S. Bill of Rights, including many of the Amendments that were made to the U.S. Constitution after the original Bill of Rights had been ratified. Some of these include universal suffrage in Article 15 and the prohibition of slavery in Article 8. Other rights listed in the Japanese constitution are not in the U.S. Bill of Rights at all. These include the right to live where you want and work at whatever occupation you want, the right to academic freedom … and free public education. Read the entire essay.

Honorable Mention

Shaley Burris, Lawton

Eighth Grade Art

First Place

Davis Raschen, Tulsa

Second Place

Rowen Pace, Moore

Eighth Grade Writing

First Place

Jackson Clark, Oklahoma City

1st Amendment Rights

The fourth piece is the right to assemble peacefully. A crucial emphasis to make is that it is peaceful, so violent forms of rioting don't count. This is a very underrated part, but it allows people to commune, discuss ideas, and publicly air opinions; the right to free speech is nothing without one being able to share their ideas with others. It also allows that, when a corrupt company or the Government does something controversial, we can all come out and protest without being arrested. Read the entire essay.

First Place

Rayan Sawan, Edmond

Importance of the First Amendment

After the Revolutionary War ended, America's first Constitution was established. The Articles of Confederation ensured strong state power to avoid tyrannical rule in the American colonies, but it did not last. The American colonies needed a stronger government that was run by "the people". This led to the establishment of the U.S. Constitution, which became ratified with the addition of the Bill of Rights. The most important of these amendments is the first amendment. The five rights included in the first amendment are included, to protect "the people's" unalienable rights. Read the entire essay.

Ninth Grade Art

First Place

Thomas Buchanan, Harrah

Second Place

Janessa Chastain, Stilwell

 

Honorable Mention

Faith Roy, Tulsa

Ninth Grade Writing

First Place

Cole Steeley, Tulsa

The First Amendment – Louder Than the Hateful

If a change were made to the First Amendment that prohibited such extreme speech and protests, this would prohibit all extreme speech and protests. The Westboro Baptist Church and Neo-Nazis would be stopped, but so would any other form of speech. Eventually, the prohibition of this would come back to cripple the people who originally pushed for the change. The Supreme Court doesn't want to support hate groups, but rather they want to support the basic freedoms of all citizens. Read the entire essay.

First Place

Noah Hollifield, Lawton

It's a Free Country

My mom has always told me "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." I've recently learned that although this rule is polite, it contradicts the rights granted to me under the first amendment, which are arguably more important than having good manners. Moms don't benefit from teaching their kids about the right to free speech. I've been grounded enough to know I haven't earned that right just yet. The Founding Fathers, however, foresaw the need for certain protections. Read the entire essay.

Tenth Grade Art

First Place

Aubrey Topping, Marlow

Second Place

Cameron Bryan, Oklahoma City

Tenth Grade Writing

First Place

Palmer Strubhar, Piedmont

How Jails Are Overlooking Prisoners' First Amendment Rights

You may still be wondering how refusing someone an animal-friendly meal is a violation of the first amendment. Jailhouse.org states that most judges can agree that, "your beliefs don't have to be associated with a traditional or even an established religion to be ‘religious.'" The reasoning behind this is saying that while your vegetarianism/veganism may not be typical of your religion- whether that be the 227.9 million Christians, 2.23 million Hindus or 3.45 million Muslims in the US - they are beliefs nonetheless. Read the entire essay.

Second Place

Lexis Nolen, Kiefer

We Will Not Be Silenced

We will not be silenced
You will not take our voice
As Americans,
It is our only weapon
That does not kill
We will not be silence*
You will not steal our voices
Our very first law of laws
States just that
We will not be silenc**
Read the entire poem.

Eleventh Grade Art

First Place

Jesse Anderson, Owasso

Second Place

Katie Williams, Pocola

Honorable Mention

Lindsay Bolino, Norman

Eleventh Grade Writing

First Place

Katie McQuay, Skiatook

The First Amendment: Who It Protects and Why It’s Reinterpretation Is Problematic

For instance, does freedom of religion protect individuals, religious groups, or nonreligious people, and why is it important that people can freely worship? For that matter, does this part of the Constitution prohibit the government from ever interacting with religion? The freedoms of religion, press, assembly, petition, and speech established by the First Amendment protect different people, and although these freedoms are vital to the American law system, their reinterpretation throughout the years has resulted in some interesting constitutional dilemmas. Read the entire essay.

First Place

Zoey Russell, Pawnee

The Importance of Protest

All of our civil liberties have been put to good use over the decades since the Constitution was first created. These freedoms have been challenged and people have died to protect these rights. The freedoms we are given should not be taken for granted. The civil rights movement, starting with Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on the bus to a white male, began on December 1, 1955. It would later be known as the most peaceful protest to happen in America. Read the entire essay.

Honorable Mention

Andrew Jacob, Oklahoma City

Twelfth Grade Art

First Place

Carmela Dela Isla, Broken Arrow

Second Place

Grant Mayberry, Tulsa

Tinker v. Des Moines

Lyrics 

Brother-sister from Iowa

Fed up with wars of America

Wearing black bands on their arm

To protest the war in Vietnam

That day the school ruled that they'll allow it

But only from their now solemn home.

Why can't they benignly and silently,

Speak against a war without hope?

Read all lyrics.

Honorable Mention

Amber Welch, Broken Arrow

Twelfth Grade Writing

First Place

Cassidy Beck, Pawnee

A Game-Changer during the Civil Rights Movement

The right to assemble is often overlooked, but was an influential part of the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s. The civil rights movement was over a two-decade period where African Americans spoke out against their unequal treatment in the the economic, political, and social spectrum. The right to peaceably assemble was the foundational tool used by African Americans during their fight for equality. This right raised public awareness, empowered influential leaders of the time, and led to the creation of landmark Supreme Court cases. Read the entire essay.

Second Place

Gilbert Johnston, Kiefer

Fight for Freedom of speech

Can we say
What we really want to say?
I think about this all of the time,
Every single day
Is our protesting all
Of what it's even worth
Should we venture with these words
Or should we just disperse
The ones with the power
Are just so one sided
Read the entire poem.

Honorable Mentions

Ashley Winfield, Kiefer; Jia Watson-Fisher, Tulsa