Americans United has announced its second annual essay contest for high school juniors and seniors.
This year, the contest is focusing on the role of religion in public schools. AU is asking students how they might solve a real or hypothetical church-state separation violation at their school.
Students can consider potential violations such as the teaching of religious-based curricula in public schools, mandating public school students to attend assemblies with religious content or prayers, discriminating against students based on religion or using religion to discriminate against LGBTQ students.
Essays should examine how the chosen topic encroaches on the constitutional principle of church-state separation, and how the student would address the violation in his or her school.
Essays should be 750-1,200 words, well-written and well-researched with references to current events, U.S. history or personal experiences. Students may use AU.org, protectthyneighbor.org or other primary sources.
The top essay writer will be awarded $1,500, and the essay will be published in Church & State. The second- and third-place essays also will receive cash prizes.
The deadline for submissions is April 15. Full details and information on how to submit essays can be found here.