Open to: All high school students in Northeast Ohio.

Length: 500-1,000 words

Essays should pull from personal experience, current events, history, politics, art, anything really so long as they are backed up with evidence. Essays will be judged on their clarity, content, originality, and significance. .

“Social media platforms are no longer just a way to connect with friends, but are increasingly used as a way to share news and discuss current events. Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have come under fire for failing to protect users from hate speech, while simultaneously facing backlash for failing to protect free speech. Given these contradictory perspectives and the increased prevalence of social media, should social media platforms weigh the value of ensuring the safety and accountability of users versus ensuring the free speech of users?”

ELIGIBILITY: All high school students (9-12th grade) in public, private, parochial, charter, and home schools in Cuyahoga, Geauga, Portage, Lake, Lorain, Medina and Summit Counties.

ESSAY TOPIC: In the past year, college campuses from Berkeley to Middlebury have seen widespread student protests against speakers brought to their respective campuses. While many contend that students are exercising their right to protest, others argue that student protests have reached the point where they now drown out the voices they disagree with. This debate is not limited to educational settings; here at the City Club, we saw community members speaking both in favor and in opposition of Corey Lewandowski speaking from our stage. With these opposing perspectives in mind, how should institutions determine to whom they provide a public platform?

GUIDELINES: 500-1,000 Words
DEADLINE: EXTENDED! March 17, 2017
CRITERIA FOR AWARDS: Clarity of thought, quality of content, originality, and significance of the essay’s ideas, all demonstrating an understanding of the contest’s topic.