An essay and video contest for high school students in the western United States and Pacific Islands. Contest rules and entry instructions are available at:

The theme of this year’s contest—The First Amendment and the Schoolhouse Gate—asks contestants to consider what rights the First Amendment provides to students engaging in free speech, both inside and outside of school. Participants are also asked to consider the responsibilities, if any, that students, schools, or the government have with respect to speech by students, including whether it may cause harm to others.

Finalists in the Northern District of California’s local contest will each receive a $600 cash prize (shared between contestants for group video entries) and an opportunity to compete in the circuit-wide contest. To be eligible to compete in the Northern District of California’s local contest, students must reside in one of these counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Monterey, Napa, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, or Sonoma.

Entries will be accepted beginning January 17, 2022. The deadline for entries is March 18, 2022.  For more contest information and rules, please review the Ninth Circuit Civics Contest Website and the the following materials:

Questions about the district-level contest may be directed to

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