This year marks the 40th anniversary of the famous Supreme Court case Tinker v. Des Moines when the court ruled in favor of students who had been suspended for protesting the Vietnam War. The Tinker case stated that students “do not shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.” But 40 years later, students are still facing challenges to their free speech and expression in school.

Free Speech in Schools (Does it Exist?)

We received films from around the country, covering a diverse range of issues such as censorship of student newspapers, strict dress codes, academic freedom, and self-censorship to name a few. These young filmmakers worked in a variety of styles and genres in order to make their voice heard. Here are the top three winners, who received a cash award, as well as scholarships to the New York Film Academy:

First Place ($1,000 & a scholarship from the New York Film Academy)
“Freedom Thieves”
By Jordan Allen

Second Place ($500)
By Stephen Small and Tom Piasny

Third Place ($250)
By Aaron Dunbar

Honorable Mention
“Petty Inquiries”
By Amy Obarski