It’s a High School team, but they don’t play on a field. It’s a club, but the only requirement is that you really like to argue. Politely, of course.
This Fall, Mamaroneck High School launched its first Policy Debate Team and now 40 students from all four grades are actively competing.
Students, parents and MHS Principal Elizabeth Clain have said they are amazed at the response.
“I am thrilled with the interest that the debate team has garnered at MHS. I am always amazed when I walk into the tiered classroom at 5:45 p.m. to find 40 students engaged in intellectual debate.”
Each debate round has two, two-person teams debate on opposite sides of a Resolution, that students from all over the country are also debating.
This year, the Resolution is: “The United States federal government should substantially increase its economic and/or diplomatic engagement with the People’s Republic of China.”
As one parent coach explains, “In the debate round, the affirmative team proposes a plan that meets the definitions of the resolution and argues the advantages of this plan, while the negative has to argue that the affirmative’s plan should not be adopted, either because it will do more harm than good, or because another plan would be better….a judge votes for the team that does the better job of defending its position.”
At their very first tournament in New York City, four MHS debaters and three MHS teams received awards, and they’ve since attended tournaments in other states.
Will the Team eventually become a National Varsity contender? Well, that’s open for debate.