Students earn top spots in Macomb County Law Day essay contest
Students earn top spots in Macomb County Law Day essay contest
Posted on 04/26/2019
Two students in front of an American flagTwo Utica Community Schools fifth graders have earned the top two spots in a Macomb County essay contest that promotes legal rights.

Havel Elementary fifth graders Gabriella Zmich and Lonna Phillips earned first and second respectively in the annual Law Day essay program sponsored by the Macomb County Bar Foundation.

The students earned the honors open to all fifth graders under a theme of "Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society."

Their teacher is Jennifer Sutter.

The students will have their essays printed in an edition of the Macomb Daily.

Law day this year is May 1.

The essays are below.

Gabriella Zmich

Have you ever wondered what our world would be like with no freedom in what we say or do? If everyone had the same opinion the world would be very bland and dreadful. This all trails back to one very important right, the freedom of speech. Freedom of speech isn’t just one small right, it opens doors for other rights such as free press which creates free society.

Our founding fathers wanted these rights added to the constitution. Free press and speech were made so that we could get away from England’s ridiculous rules. Until the year 1787, America was ruled by a King who was on the other side of the world. That’s CRAZY! The English had bizarre rules; like you had to have the same religion. LOADS of the English people sailed to America to break free from these laws. Since they came, the English had a harsh rule over the Native Americans and started taxing them for everything. The Americans lived there first, so they believed they should get a say in how their government was run. It was then that the rights of free speech and free press were put into place.

Free speech is important because without this many of our basic rights would be torn away. One of the rights being freedom of press. The freedom of press would be taken away because if you can’t say what you want then you can’t write what you want. Without this ability, our ideas wouldn’t spread, and this would then lead to a sorrowful society. I know I don’t want that to happen. As a fifth-grade student, I wouldn’t want to grow up in a world where I can’t spread my ideas.

Spreading our ideas is very crucial to having a happy society. The ideas we spread help us tell the world what we know. We do this by writing books and publishing them and making videos and posting them. Without the ability to share news, we would have a boring world.

As a member of society, I feel we should protect and preserve the rights of free speech and press so that our society continues to run smoothly, and information can easily be shared for the benefit of all. Without the right of free speech, the doors are locked for other rights. Freedom allows Americans to be themselves, have their own beliefs, and share them.

Lonna Phillips

Martin Luther King, Winston Churchill, and Nelson Mandela all have something in common. They all expressed their opinions in public through speeches. Because of the founding fathers, we have the freedom of speech and the freedom of press. These rights are necessary today, because without them we cannot obtain a free society. They allow us to make speeches, create bills, inform our representatives, and overall, make changes to our society. These rights prevent the government ruling over what we can and cannot do. If these freedoms weren’t written, every article would become one-sided. Everybody would live in fear of speaking about something that’s not authorized. No one would have the courage to change this. Fortunately, the Bill of Rights prevented that from happening. We’re able to do an exceeding amount more than that, we can generate our own decisions, instead of the government framing them for us.

Freedom of speech and press are important for the country, but can we say anything we desire, or do anything we want? No. There are limits that construct a safe society. If a person shouted fire in a theater, our society wouldn’t be safe from panic. If we didn’t have limits, every advertisement could be false. Our society then wouldn’t be protected from lies.
In 1791, the first amendment to the Constitution was, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” Kids discover explained, “George Madison believed that… the rights of individuals could be abused, as they had been by the British.” England’s King created unfair laws, and the colonists didn’t enjoy this. The colonists wanted an opinion in the laws they had to follow. So, the founding fathers agreed to write the Bill of Rights. We were able to have a say in government, and protest new laws being made. As a result, people moved to America to gain these freedoms.

We sometimes forget that the freedom of speech and press are granted to us. However, those freedoms let us do a lot in the society we live in. Some people changed the country by using their freedoms. Even if there are limits, being able to be free in what we say, act, and write helped America grow. By making these rights, the founding fathers made the United States of America a free society.