Student Law Day Contest Winners - 2020
The OBA Law Day Committee thanks Oklahoma educators, students and their families for participating in the 2020 Law Day Contest. With a theme of "Your Vote, Your Voice, Our Democracy," the contest commemorated the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution.
“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex." - Nineteenth Amendment
This year, nearly 1,300 students from 46 towns and about 70 schools and home school groups entered the contest.
The contest explored many aspects of voting in Oklahoma, in the United States and around the world, in part, using these writing prompts. Contest winners' entries are below.
Click on an entry to see it larger or continue reading.
Selma Cody, Ada; Meadow Bales, Tulsa; Callie Lewallen, Morrison
Lucy Brocksmith, Oklahoma City; Mackenzie Gee, Salina; Amayah Butcher, Salina; Adelyne Gibson, Stuart; Ellionna Johnson, Vian; Haylee Hays, Vian
First Grade Art
Molly Jo McNabb, Coweta
Second Grade Art
Second Grade Writing
Colton Denton, Stillwater
Third Grade Art
Bruce Campbell, Stillwater
Third Grade Writing
Eleanor Duel, Edmond
The Nineteenth Amendment and Women's Right to Vote
People like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton worked for forty years to win a basic right. On August 18, 1920, twenty-six million women finally got the right to vote. I think that made everything change. The women's right to vote took fifty years to be accomplished, but in the end, women got to vote. I think the Nineteenth Amendment and the women's right to vote is important because women need to get to make more choices. I also think it is good because it does not just give women the right to vote, but it gives women many other opportunities to do other things, like being a surgeon or a lawyer. Read the full essay.
Elijah McDaniel Stillwater
The Nineteenth Amendment gave women the right to vote. Why is that right important?
It is important that women can vote, just like men. The Constitution tells us that all men are created equal. It means women, too. If all men and women are equal, then if men get to vote, women should get to vote, too. Women are smart. They can be just as smart as men, or even smarter. They can know as much about our country as men do. They can have ideas about how our country should work, just like men. Since women are smart, they should be able to vote. Read the full essay.
Logan Lee, Stillwater; Betsy Tucker, Pauls Valley; Arianna Snyder, Skiatook; Ella Parks, Seminole
Fourth Grade Art
Caleb Kennedy, Stillwater
Fourth Grade Writing
Hannah Kauffman, Tulsa
The Eagle and the Pitcher: A Fable on the Right to Vote
It was a scorching day, and it seemed as if the sun could not be squelched by any cloud, no matter the size. The desolate landscape consisted of a scraggly undersized couple of trees and a vast sea of dry Bermuda grass. A few perched birds were soaring high above the ground, scavenging for any sign of water.
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.
Emmagene Kuehl Stillwater
My Right to Vote
The right to vote is important because voting gives me the chance to have a say in who will be my leader in government. Voting is the way I use my voice to give my opinion and choose the views that best represent what I believe is right. Voting is not a right that every person in the world has. One hundred years ago it was not a right that women had, even here in America. Women were considered to be valued at home, but their voice in government was not recognized.
Read the full essay.
Fifth Grade Art
Fifth Grade Writing
Nihal Zehra Erez, Oklahoma City
A Vote, A Dream
Voting. That thing you have to do every once in a while. As you plump yourself on your couch after a long day of work and see candidates debating on TV and you think, why is voting so important. Why do people take so much time just deciding on who or what to vote for? I’ll tell you why. Because voting represents us and who we are, it helps us take part in our democracy, it keeps freedom alive, it helps people, it helps the environment. Read the full essay.
Alice Greenwalt, Blanchard
Why Do You Believe the Right to Vote Is Important?
Voting is a basic democratic right that should be protected, and promoted, which is why many people are surprised that the U.S. constitution provides no explicit right to vote. The importance of voting is one of the most important rights that U.S. citizens have. Nobody can force people to vote, however many people do vote, because voting lets us tell the government what we want to do and is a very important part of any democracy.
Londyn Watkins, Stillwater
Sixth Grade Writing
Ellie Cheng, Oklahoma City
A Brief Comparative History of Suffrage in Peru and the United States
Peru was a colony of Spain from the year 1533, when the conquistador Francisco Pizzarro claimed it for Spain to "westernize it" and gain political power for himself. Spanish -born Peruvians and native Incas declared their Independence from Spain on July 28, 1821. On August 27, 1821, indigenous peoples were granted citizenship. The first form of democracy in Peru was called the Nominal Democracy and existed between 1822-1895.Read the entire essay.
Addy Ramsey, Skiatook
Comparison of Venezuela and United States Voting Rights
Voting rights play an important part in society. They allow people to express their opinion about how their country should be run. Voting rights vary from country to country. This paper will compare and contrast the voting rights between Venezuela and the United States. The first general election was held in Venezuela on December 14th, 1947. This was the first honest election in Venezuela. This election used compulsory voting which requires citizens to vote in elections, and failure to vote could result in a punishment. Read the entire essay.
Miles Bryan, Stillwater
Seventh Grade Art
Ella Haiges, Edmond
Seventh Grade Writing
Jessica Myers, Skiatook
United States vs. Iraq, More Than a War
The country I chose to compare voting rights with the United States was Iraq. I chose Iraq because when I was one month old my dad was deployed to Iraq for the first 15 months of my life. The United States has a more advanced voting system, dating back to the late 1600's. Iraq dates to the biblical days but did not become a county until 1932. Their first 'free' election was 73 years later. The United States military protected the Iraqi poll booths to give the citizens of Iraq a safe voting experience. Read the entire essay.
Addisyn Miller, Skiatook
Time to Vote! US vs. UK
The United Kingdom and the United States are very similar in the way that their government evolved in the department of voting. Both countries have a democratic government. The US has a presidential government and the UK has a parliamentary government. The voting rights of each country are almost indistinguishable. The minimum age to vote is 18 years, both men and women are allowed to vote, and there are no wealth barriers. Read the entire essay.
Brielle Anderson, Skiatook
Eighth Grade Art
Austin Buchanan, Harrah; Heidi McQuay, Skiatook; Max Bruner, Tulsa
Eighth Grade Writing
Emma Neff, Edmond
A History of Women’s Rights
The fight for equal rights has always been an important part of America's rich history. Women gained their entitlements as American citizens by revolting against the normalities of their time to stand up for themselves and their rights. The story of how it began lies in the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848, the birthplace of American feminism. As the very first women's rights convention in the U.S., it served as a starting point for the women's suffrage movement. Read the entire essay.
Murphy Barnett, Norman
I am writing to you to tell you about this amazing convention I attended yesterday. It was called the Seneca Falls Convention and it was all about our rights as women. It's a two day convention that women could attend! Men could attend today, July 20th, but the first day was exclusively for women! Read the entire essay.
Brayden Hughes, Tulsa; Tara Samiee, Tulsa
Ninth Grade Art
Peyton Bull, Duncan
Ninth Grade Writing
Nathalia Mireles-Mota, Tulsa
The Women’s Suffrage Movement
The women's suffrage movement had a lasting impact on the United States, giving women rights and opportunities that changed the future of the country. Many do not often realize that the movement was not solely focused on voting rights. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, author of the Declaration of Sentiments, made the intentions of the movement clear at the Seneca Falls Convention, held in 1948. Among other things, women in the early 1800's to 1920's wanted emancipation from social constructs within marriage and the workforce. Read the entire essay.
Mikhayla Minear, Salina
Tenth Grade Art
Aréta Carr, Oklahoma City; Madison Allen, Oklahoma City; Maura Wilkerson, Oklahoma City
Tenth Grade Writing
Bryce Philips, Kiefer
The Road to the 19th Amendment
When the ballots first started
They filled with white men
Complaints were not spoken
Since the country just began
Then the country had grown
The ballots, not changed
Minorities wanted voting rights
And asked that things be rearranged
Read the entire entry.
Kaylee Sprangler, Kiefer
The 19th Amendment
About a hundred years ago there were laws
From these laws people would quote
That women couldn’t run for office
Or have the right to vote.
All throughout the 1800’s
When rights were only male
Women marched and protested
And even went to jail.
Read the entire entry.
Logan Jones, Kiefer; Jamarius Smith, Lawton
Eleventh Grade Art
Eleventh Grade Writing
Palmer Strubhar, Piedmont
The Plight of the Suffragettes and their Enduring Legacy
The courageous suffragettes of the Women's Suffrage Movement of 1920 tipped over the first domino that led to an unstoppable force of female empowerment that spread across the world. Had women not rallied together to get the right to vote, the past 100 years would have been extremely different. Luckily, the protests and rallies of the suffrage movement were not only impactful, but also inspirational for years to come. While the amount of changes that resulted from the suffrage movement are vast, I will highlight three specific achievements which have greatly impacted today's culture. Read the entire essay.
Bryce Cutts, Edmond
Chains That Confine Us
Chains that confine us
Work all day and all night
Equality shared, my friends and I
Beauty she is a man and not
Hard to see the likes of my eyes
We know who is and isn’t
Take away these shackles
These chains that confine us
We are like you are we not?
Read the entire entry.
Nathaniel Bowman, Lawton; Hunter Fox, Taloga
Twelfth Grade Art
Emily Peters, Tulsa
Twelfth Grade Writing
Katie McQuay, Skiatook
The Growth of Voting Rights in the United States
When considering changes in American voting laws to include minorities, many people only think of the 15th and 19th amendments, which were supposed to remove voting limitations based on race and gender, respectively.1 However, these amendments are not the only critical historical changes to voting laws in America, and they were not always as successful at bringing equal suffrage as most people assume. When the nation was first founded, only landowning white male adults were given a nationwide vote while today, almost every U.S. citizen has a say in the election process. Read the entire essay.
Alyssa Hall, Tulsa
The 19th Amendment
Can we say
She marches down the cold, paved streets,
A chanted rhythm she repeats
And though her voice is loud and clear
The states refuse to lend an ear.
Her sentiments have been declared,
At Seneca Falls her teeth are bared,
She’s Stanton, she’s Anthony, she’s Chapman Catt,
The “cult of womanhood” bespat.
Read the entire poem.
Hannah Rystedt, Tulsa