The State Bar announced the winners of the annual Law Day editorial, photography, and poster contests this month.

Law Day is celebrated annually across the country on May 1 to honor the rule of law and underscore how the legal process contributes to the freedoms that all Americans share. The State Bar of Texas and the Texas Young Lawyers Association celebrate the importance of law and its impact on our nation and local communities by hosting the K-12th grade statewide editorial, photo, and poster contests based on the American Bar Association Law Day yearly theme. Local bars and young lawyer affiliates are encouraged to hold local contests and submit their first-place winners in each category to the State Bar for the statewide contest.

This year’s theme, “Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society,” encouraged students to reflect on how today’s society is impacted by freedom of speech and freedom of the press and what role these tenants of our society play in our representative government. The winners of the State Bar contests, who creatively interpreted the national theme, will be recognized at the Texas Law Center May 1.

Below is an excerpt from the editorial of first-place winner, Luke Frei of Holland High School in Temple, representing the Bell County Young Lawyers Association:

Freedoms from Holland, Texas to Sea to Shining Sea

By Luke Frei

It’s 8 AM, at tiny Holland High School, the school I have come to love. A reassuring monotone voice booms across the loudspeaker imploring my fellow classmates to rise, face the American flag, and pledge allegiance to the country I love so dear. I have looked forward to this moment since Kindergarten and as my final days of my senior year draw to a close, I breathe it in and loudly exclaim each and every word. I am beyond proud to be an American as my parents have instilled the values of God, family and country into me.

However, on this day, I look across the row, and see a fellow classmate who is new to our school sitting quietly at her desk, not saluting the flag and not reciting. I find out later that she is abstaining for religious reasons. At first I am bewildered, and some of my friends are angered, but as the days and weeks go on, my pride swells. This is truly why America is different. This is truly why America is still the greatest country in the world. Despite our massive amount of differences, our 2019 America is great because of the freedoms of speech and press we still enjoy today.

Peruse the rest of Luke’s editorial, the other winning entries, and the top photographs and posters at