Friday, March 14, 2008

Symposium Takes Statehouse By Storm

Despite an ice storm that cancelled travel for many, almost 200 people attended the 2008 First Amendment Symposium at the Indiana Statehouse March 4. In addition to popular features introduced for the 2007 program, this year’s symposium recognized the finalists for Student Journalist of the Year and winners of the David Adams First Amendment Project competition.

It was wonderful to see so many students recognized for their successes at the nucleus of the state’s government.

David Ong, North Central High School, was selected as the 2008 Indiana High School Journalist of the Year; and Elizabeth Munroe, Bloomington High School North, was named first runner-up. The other finalists were Sophia Bairaktaris, Lake Central High School: Sarah Owens, Richmond High School; Whitney Smith, Floyd Central High School; and Shannon Veerkamp, Greenwood High School.

All finalists had the opportunity to meet each other and Governor Mitch Daniels prior to the program.

Lake Central High School publications staffs were awarded first place in the David Adams First Amendment Project competition. In addition to a special issue of the student newspaper that focused on the First Amendment, the staffs organized a school-wide T-shirt campaign to increase awareness and importance of the First Amendment. Profit from the T-shirt project was donated to the Student Press Law Center.

Bloomington High School North placed second in the David Adams contest with a special First Amendment edition of the North Star and a community forum about the First Amendment that included journalism and civic students from the Bloomington area.
Floyd Central placed third with a 16-page First Amendment publication; and Muncie Central received Honorable Mention for a continuing newspaper feature about the First Amendment headlined “Gimme 5.”

The amount of time and creativity staffs devoted to the First Amendment projects gave the new competition an impressive debut that honored David Adams’s support for student expression.

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