Press Releases

Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on May 1, 2012

Tennessee students explore concept of freedom of communication

NASHVILLE, May 1, 2012 -- Students challenged to produce videos on the topic of freedom of communication are being honored today by the Tennessee Bar Association (TBA) as a part of the national Law Day celebration.

Middle and high school students from across Tennessee created three-minute videos exploring the limits -- if any -- of free communication as part of the second annual TBA YouTube Video Contest. Students were asked to examine one of several themes, including the value of an "invaluable" right; whether limits can, or should, be imposed on freedom of communication; whether there should be consequences for abusing freedom of communication; and how the concept of freedom of communication applies in a digital era.
All winners will receive cash prizes. First-place winners also will be invited to attend the TBA's annual meeting in Memphis on June 8 and have their winning videos shown to leaders of the state's legal community.
Middle School Winners
Middle school winners are as follows:
First place goes to Ben Panak of Murfreesboro. Panak will receive a cash prize of $500 for his video on how the Supreme Court defines freedom of speech. Watch it here
Second place goes to Walden Home School student Alyssa Neuhoff of Signal Mountain, who will receive a cash prize of $300 for her video "Above All Liberties: Freedom of Expression." View it here
Third place goes to Dyersburg Middle School students Aaron Stapleton, Kyle Mangrum, Benji Morales, Logan Miller, Rachel Clifft, Amanda Dunn, Peyton Hickman, Erin Rausch and Sarah Emery, who will share a cash prize of $200. Their video "I Can't Believe She Said That" can be seen here
High School Winners
High school winners are as follows:
First place goes to Vivian Hughbanks of Signal Mountain, who was sponsored by the Chattanooga Southeast Tennessee Home Education Association Mock Trial Team. Both she and the team will receive a cash prize of $500. Her video "The Freedom to Speak: Foundation of Democracy" is available here
Second place goes to Benjamin Borck of Lebanon, sponsored by Smith County Right to Life, who wins a cash prize of $300 for his entry "Free to Be Responsible." Watch the video here
The third place prize and $200 goes to a group of students from Overton High School in Memphis: Terry Smith, Ajala Thomas, Lakesius Anderson, Matthew Lopez, Terry Smith, Alexis Gillon, Marcus Niter, Brandi Shipp, Amber Hill and Randy Geyer. Watch their video "You Can't Say That" here
Contest History
The YouTube Contest was created in 2010 to generate knowledge and interest in the law and the American judicial system among Tennessee students. It was the primary public service project of then-TBA President Sam Elliott, who made civics education a focus of his year in office. The first contest winners were named in 2011. See winners from  last year's inaugural competition
Law Day History
Law Day is celebrated every May 1 as a special day to mark the nation's commitment to the rule of law. Programs are held across the country to enhance the public's appreciation for the law, to foster a greater understanding of the American judicial system, and to provide an opportunity for attorneys to serve their local communities. Learn more about Law Day