Contest W7: Editorial Writing


You will be writing an editorial. The story should be approximately 400 words. With the aid of computers this year, we are able to enforce this. Please do not write longer than the word limit.

Please use the information provided below. The writer should determine which information is relevant and important to the story. Students may use dictionary, thesaurus and/or the Associated Press style manual. Only entries submitted online will be accepted. No exceptions will be made to this rule.

When you submit, you will simply be submitting plain text. Formatting such as italics, bold and underline will not transfer. Also, paragraph breaks will not transfer. To show the judge your intention to create a paragraph break, please use this double-backslash symbol: //  For instance, a passage with two paragraph breaks would look like this:

The school board reversed the policy with an 11-1 vote. // “I disagreed with the decision, but I lost this time,” said board president Yvonnes Nulton. // The policy will go into effect at the start of next school year.



This contest is meant to be completed individually. Please refrain from seeking help from others while completing this contest.

Failure to follow these directions may result in disqualification from the contest without refund. Please read and follow carefully. 

  1. Read over the prompt presented below. The writer should determine which information is relevant and important to the story.
  2. While writing, you may use resources like the AP Stylebook, an online style guide or a dictionary/thesaurus. 
  3. Use whatever technology works best for you while writing your draft. This could be pencil and paper, your cell phone, your computer, etc. Do whatever you’re most comfortable with.
  4. Do not include your name or your school’s name anywhere on your final draft.
  5. Type up the final version of your story and submit it.
  6. Please do not share your draft, notes or ideas about the prompt with others until after the competition deadline.

Here is a link to this contest’s judging rubric.


You are to write an editorial running in the next edition of the Sunflower News, your newspaper. The writer should determine the newspaper’s official opinion on the controversy and present an effective argument. The editorial should be approximately 400 words in length.


  • Name: Sunflower High School
  • Location: Clinton, Kansas
  • Mascot: Mighty Buffalo
  • Enrollment: 800 (grades 9-12)
  • School colors: yellow and brown
  • Yearbook: The Sunflower
  • Newspaper: Sunflower News

Contest Info

  • This is an on-site contest. 
  • Do not put your name on the entry. If you do, your entry will be disqualified.
  • Students must not request help or advice from any person other than the KSPA Executive Director Eric Thomas at [email protected], and that advice must be requested before the start of the contest.
  • All work must be solely that of the contestant.

Prompts will be visible at 3 p.m. April 16

Contest W7

Students Participate in Silent Protest After School Board Meeting 

By Lola Goretti, Sunflower News staff writer 

On March 15, there was a school board meeting held at the Sunflower High School auditorium. This board meeting was open for the students, parents, and any other community members to attend. Students were told each person attending would have a three minute period where they were able to speak at the meeting. There were two students who intended on speaking, meaning they would have six minutes total. This was cut short due to not enough time being made for the students, which resulted in an overwhelming response of anger and frustration towards the board.

The group of students attended the board meeting hoping they would convince the board to put more consideration into their decision to cut funding to fine arts programs around the school. 

“Whenever budget concerns come up, fine arts programs always get the chop. I wanted to express how being a part of the art club and participating in the school musicals helped save my mental health,” senior Aaron Walker said. 

All members of the Sunflower School District board and the Sunflower School District administrators did not respond to requests for comments for this story.

Walker wrote a speech to give at the board meeting. He was able to present this speech, but it was not broadcasted, meaning only the people who attended the meeting in person heard the speech. Welker then decided to film, edit, and post the speech on his Instagram page for the public to see. It is now available to view on the @SunflowerStudentVoices Instagram page. Sunflower Student Voices is a student organization that hopes to bridge the gap between the School Board and the students, creating ways to collaborate and understand the students’ points of view.

On Tuesday, March 23, students held a protest in response to the events that took place at the board meeting.

“We wanted to do something that would get the board’s attention while still maintaining their respect and our own credibility. A silent protest was the perfect solution,” said senior Bethany Hunt, a member of the Sunflower Student Voice group. 

Students originally wanted to stage just a “sick out” in which students would skip school but still complete all work on Tuesday, March 23. After receiving backlash and wanting options for students who could not skip, organizers decided to offer the option to wear tape on their masks and stay silent throughout the day, calling it a “Day of Silence.”

Each student involved in the silent protest wore a single piece of duct tape with the phrase “Hear Our Voice” written in Sharpie. The sick out was still an option that many chose, but more students participated in the Day of Silence. Some students on social media voiced their opinions on the sick out, explaining that they felt students were simply trying to skip school.

“This ‘sick out’ sounds a little familiar…… looks like too many students have been watching Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. What’s next? An impromptu parade downtown? For the record, no, I will not donate to ‘Save Ferris’ or save the fine arts programs at Sunflower High. Kids don’t know how money really works these days. Cuts have to be made somewhere,” said Margaret Hampton, a Sunflower High parent, in a Facebook post on the day of the protest. 

Despite the protest, many students still felt unheard or misunderstood. Students will continue to work to have their concerns voiced. 

“The silent protest didn’t exactly go as planned, but I think we gained enough attention to really make an impact in our next attempt. We’ve been brainstorming some ideas like a parking lot sit-in or one-day cafeteria strike. Inserting ourselves in more visible locations should help our message be seen and acknowledged by the board,” senior Bethany Hunt said. 

The next protest is scheduled for April 5. The mode of protest will be announced on April 2 on the @SunflowerStudentVoices Instagram page.