This fall, the ACLU of Maine will be hosting three separate Bill of Rights Student Conferences in all different parts of the state, bringing together hundreds of high school students from over a dozen Maine schools to discuss, explore, and debate issues relating to the Constitution and its amendments.
These all-day conferences feature a variety of interactive workshops led by volunteer lawyers and ACLU of Maine staff members. They are designed to educate students about the history and legacy of the Bill of Rights, but also to get them discussing with each other how a 219-year-old document is still relevant to their lives.
As most Supreme Court decisions show, there is much to debate when it comes to the law and how it is applied. We think it’s important to bring students into that debate, and to let them hear from different perspectives on important areas such as privacy, free speech, and equal protection. With these student conferences we hope to get young people talking about what their rights are, both in school and out, and weighing in their own minds these complex and often complicated issues.
This year’s conferences will be held in Portland (October 20th), Farmington (October 25th), and Belfast (November 2nd), and are made available to schools by the ACLU of Maine at no cost. If you are a member of the ACLU, you should feel proud that your contributions are helping to support these types of educational opportunities for students around the state.

If you are a teacher and are interested in bringing your students to one of the conferences, we still have a limited number of spaces left and I would be happy to answer any further questions you have. You can reach me by e-mail or feel free to give our office a call at 774-5444.