Travis Bailey, Meagan Brown, Samantha Primeaux, Abbey Weaver, Jacob Hallenberger, Eleanor Kirkscey, Allen Strandtman, and Briar Koehl attended the Championship Debate Group Summer Institute at Concordia University in Austin to sharpen their skills in extemporaneous speaking, Lincoln-Douglas debate, and team policy debate on July 26-31.
Russell Kirkscey, BHS debate coach, was pleased at the students’ performance. “Public speaking is a challenging occasion for many adults, so seeing this much student interest in preparing for competitive speech and debate activities is a strong indicator of the quality of education in BISD.” Adam Jacobi and Jennifer Billman of the National Forensic League noted that “A wide body of research conducted at institutions including Yale University, Truman State University and the National Forensic League has established that students involved in debate and speech consistently display higher levels of critical thinking skills, which correlates to increased problem-solving abilities and overall academic performance.”
BHS students attended theory lectures in the morning, worked in smaller squads in the afternoon, and participated in practice rounds at night. For some, it was the chance to get a head start on their first year of competition. For others, it was a refresher course and a chance to familiarize themselves with the topics for the new school year. The fall Lincoln-Douglas debate topic is “Resolved: Standards of professional behavior ought to be valued above freedom of expression on social networking websites.” The team policy debate topic for the school year is “Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase social services for persons living in poverty in the United States.”