The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit is seeking submissions for its essay contest. The contest is open to all students currently in grades 9 through 12 from Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. Students are invited to consider and share their thoughts on the question: "In light of Meyer and later cases, may a state, consistent with the protections afforded by the First and Fourteenth Amendments, prohibit the teaching of certain subjects? Students can win one of three cash prizes: first place, $2,000; second place, $1,500; and third place, $1,000. Essays are limited to 1,000 words and must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on May 31st.
One hundred years ago, the Supreme Court’s decision in Meyer v. Nebraska declared that a state law prohibiting teachers from teaching grade school children any language other than English violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause. In 1968, the Supreme Court declared in Epperson v. Arkansas that a state law forbidding the teaching of evolution in public schools, colleges, and universities violated the First Amendment.