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Protecting Civil Liberties - Ian McClendon/ Kern Clark/ Blase Biello

With my group Blase, Kern, and I we chose Protecting Civil Liberties in Schools because in our school particularly surrounded by technology this is an important issue. So we set out to get the thoughts of our classmates to understand the views of their own privacy. I enjoyed creating this project because since the issue is about unrestricted searches through their phones, devices, and even computers. So forth these liberties put upon students growing up with new technology are unaware of how much privacy they actually have. The most challenging was how to separate our essential questions about the privacy in and out of school. Also since we weren't sure of how much power the school district had in conducting a case. Another aspect that we could improve was to get more information about actual cases of students privacy being violated and whom in command pursues the information in a case.   
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Protecting Civil Liberties in the Digital Age Documentary - Biello/McClendon/Clarke

Protecting Civil Liberties in the Digital Age Documentary

We choose this topic because we felt as thought it was the most relatable and the one that affects us the most. Also because it was a very modern problem. The thing that I liked about the project was using the different CSPAN footage. The thing that was most challenging was the placement of the CSPAN footage that we found. The most interesting fact that I investigated was that the school district has the authority to search through your phone. This project could be improved by us using more CSPAN footage. Also we could have had more interviews from adults.

We ran into trouble with this project when deciding which of the CSPAN footage we should use and where we should place them in the final video project. The thing that went well on this project were the interviews and the questions that we asked the interviewees. The lighting that we had was very good and the responses were good as well. If I had to do it over the thing that I would change about our decisions were the peoples age groups that we interviewed. I don't think that we got a broad enough spectrum of responses. I learned that the U.S. government could be potentially listening in on our phone conversations and our text communications.
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Protecting Civil Liberties in the Digital Age Documentary - Biello/McClendon/Clarke

Blase Biello
Kern Clarke
Ian McClendon

*click thumbnail to start documentary*

I worked with Kern & Ian on my Q2 Benchmark which was the 2012 CSPAN Studentcam Documentary. We decided to chose the topic of civil liberties in the digital age because we thought this topic was the most related to us because of the amount of technology we use throughout the day. We use every piece of technology stated in the video; calls/texts/email/twitter/facebook/etc so it hits home for us the hardest. 
I liked the fact that we had the freedom to virtually create any kind of documentary we wanted and fill it with any information that we felt necessary/wanted. The most challenging part of the whole video was probably putting all of the clips together in an effective way that would keep the audience entertained whilst informing them at the same time. The most interesting fact that I learned was that the gov't has the ability to monitor our calls/texts without our consent. This project could be improved if we added in more narration, I think; but for the most part - the interviews of students helped sum up all of our opinions because most of their opinions were the same, 'we want our privacy'. We didn't really run into trouble anywhere with this project, I think with a three person group, everything went really smoothly. 
I think the use of multiple interviews as well as narration went well with this project. It added a bunch of layers for the audience to completely grasp the topic at hand. Also, I think the different B-Roll footage helped make it a solid documentary. If we had to do it all over again, I don't think we would really do anything differently, maybe add a couple more people to the interviews; but I think we had enough to be effective. Overall, I'm satisfied with our execution of our plan/process as well as with the final documentary. I learned many things about the privacy of our technology; as well as how many of my fellow students feel about their technology and privacy rights. Overall, this was a really nice project to tackle digital rights and privacy and inform everyone out there on our topic, effectively. 
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Q2 BM- EL Medio Ambiente Proyecto

Mi grupo y yo hicimos un PSA sobre los responsibilidades de los gentes en Filadelfia por su medio ambiente. Escribimos los asuntos con the el medio ambiente y solucciones por esos que necesitan hacer.

Por crear el PSA, la cosa más importante que aprendí fue los etapas pequeñas de gentes pueden ayudar mas. Tambien, tomando la publicá consciente de los asuntos pasando que un PSA es divertido y agradable. 

Me gusta el PSA de mi group porque trabajamos duro en este! Nuestra video tiene ejemplos comicos pero bien por los gentes hacer por el medio ambiente. Y mas que nada, tenemos mucho divertido.

Si pudiera hacer el proyecto otra vez, yo cambiaría los asuntos porque tendriamos mas solucciones y un video differente. Quiero que explorar unos ideas differentes y veo donde yo iria con es.

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El Reflexion de PSA

​Mi grupo y yo hicimos un PSA sobre los vecindades malos. Mas specifica, el vandalismo y grafiti. Las cosas importantes yo aprendí son uso el subjuntivo y la importancia de analizamos cómo nosotros, cuando estudiantes, pudieron mejorar nuestros ciudad. Me gusta nuestros PSA porque es sencillo todavía efectivo.Si pudiera hacer el proyecto otra vez, yo pudiera añadir más estadísticas.

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Mi reflexion

Mi groupo y yo hicimis un PSA sobre es reciclar en la Filadelfia. Por crear el PSA, la cosa más importante que aprendi fue es importante de reciclar. Me gusta el PSA de mi groupo porque mi groupo es trabajando colaborar. Si pudiera hacer el proyecto otra vez,yo combiaria mas video. 

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Genuinely Gorgeous

Bach Tong and Natalie Sanchez

The Product that Bach and I are selling is not tangible. We are “selling” the idea of raw and genuine beauty. Through our print ads we are trying to retrain our audience’s eye to look at beauty differently than the way it is portrayed in today’s ads. With our ads, we want to redefine what beauty means, essentially. We want to stop people from thinking that you have to be a certain shape, age, and color to be considered beautiful. 

We do not have a specific intended audience. We are making these ads for every American’s attention. Every American, in some way or another, has been affected by this plague that is media. It has infiltrated the way they think about beauty and, consequently, acceptance. It is the “perfect figure” that is so often sold through print ads in magazines that drive young women to physically harm their bodies, young men to committing reckless behavior in order to gain acceptance from their male peers, and so many American citizens to develop low self esteem. Americans spend tons of money daily buying products for hair growth, wrinkles, weight loss, and hair removal just to reach this physically impossible state of aesthetic “beauty.” This is why we are targeting all Americans; we are all guilty of wishing to modify our bodies in some way or another. 

Our ads reach the audience through its relatable characters, by taking daily raw activities and ordinary faces to challenge the norm of beauty, which is marginalized within framing definitions by mass media. Such vehicle also carries our message of rethinking beauty.
There are many things we could have changed about our BM. A French poet and critic Paul Valerie once said: “A poem is never finished, only abandoned.” We, as always, abandon our BM because of deadlines and timelines, and we feel that if we could have more reflective periods to re-think and modify our products, we could develop a more in-depth message. It is hard to know when it's the right time to abandon our project, since the BM is a one-time deal. We tend to rush toward it at the end of the quarter.  In terms of our message and direction, our BM would have a much sharper analysis if we would have focused on one specific aspect of beauty, such as body type, spirit, hair, outfit (consumerism), etc. Such messages would be easier to understand, as well as ignite a deeper level of thinking from there to challenge the norm of beauty. On the other hand, we spent a large amount of time strategizing, which is pivotal. However, hands-on time of taking pictures plays an equal role in shaping the final product, as it gives the experience to our theoretical intention, and therefore it assists the delivery of our message. In term of logistic, this BM was assigned during a relatively busy time, along with other deadlines (College Applications, Scholarships, Other BMs, Capstone proposals, etc.) Therefore it did not get as much attention as it deserved. Therefore, as always, there should have been a smarter balance of effort into the process, and a smarter plan for it to match our work capacity. 
Final Gina Ad
Final Xavier Pic
Final Lehman
Screen Shot 2012-01-20 at 8.24.42 AM
Screen Shot 2012-01-20 at 8.25.11 AM
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C-Span Competition 26th Amendment

Will,  Ali and Tim

Link to Will's page

We chose this amendment because it heavily related to our current lives as we are around the age where voting has become a factor. The project allowed for creativity and I liked that but I mostly enjoyed finding relations that I never new existed. The biggest problem was finding c-span footage that fit the criteria of what I needed. It seemed like either the quality was to different from our video or the footage wasn't entirely related to us. The project could be improved by sorting c-span footage by amendment. This would allow for less cryptic research required. The product was had many different points but I would have liked to have had more interviews. It was hard finding people educated on our topic. I wish we had spent more time on the filming stage or at least chose a warmer day so we could have gone outside. I am glad I learned about this amendment and it taught me how the government makes changes actually based from the will of the people. I will be waiting for the next one and see if this is still true.
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Reflexción para PSA video de nuestro groupo (Cuba)

Mi grupo y yo hicimos un PSA sobre contaminación del Aire en Filadelfia. 
Por crear el PSA, la cosa más importante que aprendí fue yo tengo muchas diferente método para detener la air pollucion. 
Me gusta el PSA de mi group porque nuestro video incluido a todos en nosotros grupo y la musica en la fundo de la video es maravilloso.
Si pudiera hacer el proyecto otra vez, yo incluiría los efectos que tiene la contaminación del aire tiene en Filadelfia y los peligros.

Groupo Cuba: 

Tenzin Ngawang, Jessica Hinton, Mecca Sharrieff, Christian Gelbolingo
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C-Span, Q2 BM "The V-Word" Video

I chose this topic because I felt like it was something that was often discussed in debates and it effects me because people are so sensitive to the topic. I liked that it effects me and other females my age. As far as most interesting, the C-Span footage we extracted for the video was interesting to watch and analyze. People's different responses to questions about sexual education were interesting to listen to. One fact that was ridiculously interesting was that within 14 year old females and males, many admitted to having more than one sexual partners. We had to use these graphs, facts and data to prove our point that Sex Education should be taught. Period. To improve this project, we could've used random peoples opinions in our video. But we ran into problems with timing, so that ruled out that idea.
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Contaminación del Aire

Mi grupo y yo hicimos un PSA sobre 'Contaminación del Aire'.

Por crear el PSA, la cosa más importante que aprendí fue es importante que penso sobre el nuestro efectos en contaminación.

Me gusta el PSA de mi group porque nuestro video es divertida y cómico de hacer fabrican (to make). 

Si pudiera hacer el proyecto otra vez, yo cambiaría... I think that maybe I would discuss how these solutions are better for the environment. 

Christian, Mecca, Tenzin, Jessica - Grupo Cuba 
Español PSA

Me Reflexión

Mi grupo y yo hicimos un PSA sobre el importanté para reciclar en Filádelfia.

Por crear el PSA, la cosa más importante que aprendí fue la importancia a reciclar, y el negativo efecto lo bote tena en el environmenté.

Me gusta el PSA de mi group porque Goldie es muy comica.

Si pudiera hacer el proyecto otra vez, yo cambiaría individualmente.
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Quarter 2 BM. 14th Amendment


For my second American Government benchmark, I inquired on a topic that I knew of but also wanted to learn more about. I tied together the 14th amendment and how it relates to the LGBT community. I really liked that this project was very open to anything and let me be creative. I also liked how we got to be free with which way we wanted to on about this project. One of the more challenging parts of the project was how to start out and how would I get my message across to the audience. I also found it hard to get good footage that went all together and messing with iMoive to make it all come out looking good and not like a bunch of videos smashed together.

The most interesting fact was that stood out to me was that ninety percent of the gay and lesbian youth reported being bullied from middle school through out high school. My C-Span video also had some interesting facts as well and how they could end the bulling though out the world. Sherrod Brown was the spokes person and brought up some good points in the C-Span, which I also put into my video. I think that I could improve my project by using more people, such as adults since I only used pre-teens and teenagers. Another way this project can be improved would be by using less C-Span footage and more different videos that connect to my topic.

During this project I ran into a couple of problems one being trying to make all of the videos I chopped up sound the same with the volume adjustments. It was hard trying to take all of these different clips and making them have the same volume with out having to cut the videos into tiny pieces. A second problem that I had with the project was uploading it, I uploaded the video to three different places, SchoolTube, Youtube, and I tried TeacherTube. I didn’t know that I had to wait for my video to be accepted by the administrator first. I think me working by myself went well. I got to mange my own time and I didn’t have to rely on anyone else to get their work done. If I had to do this project over I would try and get my video done faster so when the deadline was coming up I could just get it reviewed all the time and not worry on the last day about uploading it. I learned that this was the fastest movement in the nation and is still growing till this day.

For my work cited click here.

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Quarter 2 Benchmark

This is Lauren second quarter benchmark. To look at it  for now on youtube : click here

will post vimeo video shortly

But my project is basically on the First Amendment and the freedom of speech in schools.
​Benchmark Reflection:

  • Why did you choose this topic?
    - I pick this topic because my freedom of speech is important to me. I think everyone should have the right to free speech, no matter where they are. Some people take this to far and say things that shouldn't be said out of moral law.
  • What did you like about this project? What was most challenging?
    -  I enjoyed the part of the project when I asked people question because, it was funny to see what everyone's initial response was, or them trying to figure out how to answer the questions.
  • Describe the most interesting fact or event that you investigated.
    - That's school had the right to say what a student can wear and do, most important with religion. I don't understand how a school can take it upon themselves to restrict a religion.
  • How could this project be improved?
    - The project could have been improved with a little more editing and I realized after publishing that there was no music or anything
  • Where did you run into trouble with the project?
    - A problem for me was that IMovie keep crashing and deleting my videos.
  • What went well with this project?
    - The interviews of people went quite well even, and the timing of Anwar playing the piano in the background on some interviews was perfectly timed
  • If you had it to do over, what would you change about your decisions or your process?
    - I really wouldn't change anything, the project went pretty well,  maybe a little bit more editing, and some way to stop IMovie from crashing every five mins
  • What did you learn?
    - More about my freedom of speech as a student and the rights that a school has, which sometimes are ridiculously outrageous.

American Liberties Union. "Free Speech." American Civil Liberties Union. American Liberties Union. Web. 19 Jan. 2012. <>.

C-Span. "Bullying, Sexual Orientation, and Gender." C-Span Video Library. C-Span, 13 May 2011. Web. 2012. <>. 
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Quarter 2 StudentCam :D

We chose this topic because it was the easiest to apply to us as individuals and especially as students of SLA. With such diversity in our school, obviously the most important sections of the Constitution would be the ones defending that diversity. Although I didn't learn anything new, I had a lot of fun interpreting things I already knew and remembering things I had forgotten. 

This project was fun because we had free reign to create a video that only had to explain why something was important to us. Though it was hard to figure out just how to do that, (we struggled for a while with a plot), the process was fun and worth the challenge. Another challenging part was adhering to the rules of the contest while also trying to make a project for school because the teachers here are sometimes more negotiable about parts of the project than the contest people. That can't really be improved however, because it's not our contest. Besides that I don't think the project can be improved or be much more challenging. If I was to do this again I'd get a better set because the production value went down because of the slightly inconsistent backdrop we had. This could have been avoided by filming that section earlier but it wasn't ready at the moment so we had to make do. 

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Edit Delete


  • Mi grupo y yo hicimos un PSA sobre la basura y la contaminación. 
  • Por crear el PSA, la cosa más importante que aprendí fue para de que mi basura entra en la papelera. 
  • Me gusta el PSA de mi group porque es creativo y divertise. tuvimos un bien mensaje.
  • Si pudiera hacer el proyecto otra vez, yo coambiaría añada al vídeo para hacerlo mejor.
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  • Mi grupo y yo hicimos un PSA sobre tirar basura. 
  • Por crear el PSA, la cosa más importante que aprendí fue lavarse y el cuidado de limpio son importantes.
  • Me gusta el PSA de mi group porque es muy creativo y divertido. 
  • Si pudiera hacer el proyecto otra vez, yo cambiaría hicimos un gran video con un gran mensaje. 
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Quarter 2 BM. 4th Amendment

Uyen Nguyen, Natasha Ashby and Amaris Romero

Link to Natasha Ashby 
Link to Amaris Romero 
Link to our wonderful sources! 

Link to the wonderful VIDEO!!!!!!!!!!!


Uyen Nguyen 

D band


As a group, Natasha, Amaris and I decided to touch on the 4th Amendment to privacy rights and especially the student's privacy rights in school because this is something that's affecting others students compare to what we're dealing with as a special program at Science Leadership Academy. Although it's a really big issue for us because we are starting to getting into the zone of dealing with privacy rights that others are dealing with at their school. Since we're the only school without metal detectors and we have our own system of privacy rights, it was really important for us to know about other's rights as well as what will happen to us if we are being enforce to the rules that the District is giving to us. Therefore, we decided to go out to different school for an investigation as well as get to know about the similarity and differences between our community and the Districts community. 

While going along in the project, we've learned more about our 4th Amendment better and get to know about the affects from it. Not only that but we get to experience what other teenagers have to face at their own school since we do not run on the same system as theirs. It was really surprising for us because we are one of the most luckiest community that does not have to face the privacy protection and searches as of to other schools. 

Although we did get to stick with out plans on visiting other school and community to seek out for opinions as well as experiences. We did run into a lot of trouble because people were having issues with answering our questions, many did not have time to give us a summary of what we need to know. Also it was harder to schedule with other schools since they have a harder rule system than what we have here at SLA. We were also having problem with putting the whole documentary together due to the lack of Cspans footage we were able to find that will touch on our topic. We also have trouble with cutting out many opinions in the interview and picked out the right one for the documentary. 

Over all the project went really well because we were able to work together as a team all the way till the end and as well as getting everything we needed for the video. However, if we were going to do this project again I would suggest that as a group we could have spend a little more time on this video, if we get to visit more schools and get more opinions on this topic than it would have been one informative documentary. It was wonderful feeling to work on this project and learn new things.   

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Q2 AmGov 4th Amendment Cspan PROJECT

Link to Uyen's Page
Link to Amaris Page
Link to Sources

Our video! :D 

I thought this was a high school, not an airport

I chose this topic because when I was looking for topics, this one stuck out to me. It interests me because it actually affected me personally. From the beginning, I wanted my topic to have something to do with high schools students, considering that is what I am. When I saw this topic and looked at the amendments, I knew that this was going to be it!

I liked that fact that this project was a documentary. I am currently in a documentary class, where I learn a lot about how to create documentaries, edit and film. I was able to use the skills I have attained to my advantage. Since, this wasn't so much of a creative project because Cspan told us what we needed to do and what it needed to be about, I was ready to go at it, in the proper way.

I think the most challenging thing was getting the answers we wanted from people's interviews. We expected people to say certain things that they did not say and some were not as useful as we hoped. Therefore, it was becoming challenging for us to try and convey the message that we were intending for the audience to get from the video. It was also challenging to get interviews, in general. At Ben Franklin, we weren't allowed to film some interviews because the principal would need parental consent. THEN we couldn't even find enough Cspan footage! I honestly don't know how they don't have more useful footage about the 4th amendment and high schools because it is an important issue that all students should be aware of.

The most interesting event that I investigated had to be the metal detectors. SLA does not have any and are the only public high school in philadelphia to not have any. I went to Central High School and had to go through metal detectors as a freshman. I was confused and scared because I honestly didn't think that one of the best schools in Philadelphia would have their students going through metal detectors, as if we're at an airport, in which TSA has tightened their security checks due to a terrorist attack. When I went to Ben Franklin and interviewed students about their thoughts of it, it was interesting to hear different opinions. Some students didn't think much of the metal detectors while others felt violated. SLA is so different from other high schools. I thought it was just based on the way we learn but it really isn't.

We could improve this project by definitely getting an interview with Mr. Lehmann and by using outside videos. There was not much CSPAN footage of our amendment at all pertaining to our topic so if we could use other educational videos in our project, it would be better. Besides that, I really enjoyed the project and my partners. We all brainstormed a lot of ideas and really put together a list of good interview questions, so that we could find what we were looking for. I learned a lot about the 4th amendment and how metal detectors could violate that right, but it all depends on the person. If SLA were to get metal detectors and have random searches, it would change the whole vibe of the school. While as, in Ben Franklin, Principal Johnson would rather have them, in order to keep his students safe so that he does not have to make "that" phone call. That is not saying that SLA is not safe, because it is the only school I actually feel safe in. 
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TFarah Q2 History BM

Go to Luna's page, Rita's page, or watch our benchmark here!

We chose this topic because it directly affects all three of us, because we're girls who will soon be eligible to vote.  I enjoyed this project because in past years I've learned a little about it in school, but there were so many details I'd never known before that were really interesting, like how at one point the 14th amendment's passage depended on a single man named Harry Burns, who went to vote with a note in his pocket from his mother telling him to vote in favor of female suffrage.  It helped me better appreciate the struggle that the suffragists went through, and the political divide that in fact is pretty similar to the way we're divided today.  The most challenging part was deciding how to present our project, which gave us some trouble.  We went through a few ideas, like fake Facebook news feeds, and had to scrap everything and start over at one point.  I do think our final idea was good, although the whole project could probably have been improved by better acting.
I think the final touches on the project--finding and adding C-SPAN footage, adding pictures to the video, etc--went particularly well.  We were able to find some great photographs, ads and political cartoons that I think really enhanced the whole thing.  It also helped make up for the fact that on the whole, the actual footage we taped of ourselves was not great.  If we were to do it over again, I think I'd want to try filming from other angles and non-terrible acting.
I learned a lot about the 14th amendment and the long struggle to get it passed.  I also learned how great it feels to do things ahead of schedule.  I'm a natural procrastinator, as is Rita, but Luna is great at staying on top of things and she helped keep us on track.  I think having experienced the amazing feeling of not doing everything at the last minute, I'll be more likely to do it myself in the future.
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The "V" Word: A fight to protect women's bodies

Alaya White & Alexis Beckton

  • Why did you choose this topic?
    I choose this topic because I think women's rights are often looked past and in the time of elections people get very uptight about pro-life and pro-choice but don't take into consideration the women's feelings. 

  • What did you like about this project? What was most challenging?
    I think the challenging part was deciding how to convey what we wanted to say and finding the most effective way to do it. 

  • Describe the most interesting fact or event that you investigated.
    The most interesting fact that we investigated was the fact that in 2002 a study about sexual behaviors in children showed that girls are having sex as young as 12. 

  • How could this project be improved?
    We could have put movie examples and real world examples. 
  • Where did you run into trouble with the project?
    We ran into the most trouble submitting the project because our video wasn't the right type of file and converting the project took alot longer than we had expected. 
  • What went well with this project?
    The amount of participation we received from students was surprising. I usually try not to count on people willingly working on a video because of time constraints or people just not volunteering but this time was completely different. 

  • If you had it to do over, what would you change about your decisions or your process?
    I think we would have really used the last day to super edit and just tighten the project up more. 

  • What did you learn?
    That people really do want to have health education !!!
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Quarter 2 Benchmark : Student Free Speech

By Markia & Elisa



Reflection :
My partner and I chose this topic because in the requirements aid that we had to talk about something that we felt relates to us. Since we go to a technology based school we decided to do something that had to do with censoring and student free speech. It was thoroughly enjoying to complete this project because I was able to learn about cases in the past. During a time when students didn't really have much of a say in anything.
Other than that my partner and I were really able to talk about and form our own opinions about our topic. One of the things we research that made me really think about the different ways students can express their free speech rights was the case of Tinker v. Des Moines. The entire case was the school district opposing black bands being worn in protest of the Vietnam war. I really wanted our project to make people think  about how student free speech has and has not changed since then. 
I think we did a good job of making people think afte they watched the video but some of the imagery in our project could have been better. For example, when we posted some of the things we as students have to deal with we should have had a visual behind the text of something related. Other than that I believe our product came out well my partner and I really collaborated to create our video, and personally I really think we did a good job.Our video was interesting and related students today with the first amendment. We learned ourselves about the fine line between what is seen as inappropriate and self expression. 
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