New Jersey

NJ LEEP student civility program

Civility, Free Speech, and Personal Attack in a Constitutional Democracy

Debate Competition & Public Forum

October, 27, 2012

Seton Hall Law School, Newark, NJ

NJ LEEP, Inc. (The New Jersey Law and Education Empowerment Project) hosted a high school debate competition followed by a public community town hall to discuss the topic of civility, free speech, and personal attacks.  

Students debated on whether school officials should be allowed to censor critical student speech using a pre- established fact pattern.

The debate competition was followed by a panel discussion in which speakers reflected on the importance of civility in both their professional and social interactions.  Speakers then turned to community members to answer questions on about their thoughts on civility, free speech, and the challenges of balancing the two. 

Public Forum Panelists:

Professor Ronald Riccio
Seton Hall Law School 

Russ Deyo
Immediate Past General Counsel
Johnson & Johnson

Carlos Lejnieks
Exec. Director, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex,
Hudson and Union Counties

John Mooney
Founding Editor
New Jersey Spotlight

Professor Shavar Jeffries
Seton Hall Law School & Newark Advisory School Board


Craig Livermore, Executive Director of NJ LEEP, Inc.