Debate Club Blog
Jerome, Sam and Rabbi Amanda
(When you click on the photographs, you will be able to see the whole picture, including everyone’s heads)!
Last year a group of sixth graders begged for a debate club, since arguing only in regular classes wasn’t enough! We wanted to learn how to debate as an extra activity. Luckily, Dr. Waynik agreed with us and created an activity period, and found a debate club advisor, Rabbi Amanda Brodie. She studied debating quite a lot to help us learn the formal art of debating. In September, the Ezra Academy Debate Clubⓒ was formed.
We have learned how to conduct a formal debate and how to research in groups to form solid opinions. We have to ensure that everyone on the team understands the arguments that they are going to put forth and in what order. It is a very strict structure, and we are even timed.
Our first debate focused on the Iran Nuclear Deal, which had constantly been in the news. Our class was divided into two groups, affirmative and negative. Two judges were also chosen. The resolution was, “Be it resolved that the Iran Deal is good for the United States and Israel.” The affirmative side won the debate, with a final point tally of 6 ½ to 5 points. A few strong arguments that the affirmative side made were that actions meant more than words-Iran had just been saying threatening things, but they had taken no action. The negative side argued against this. There were no hard feelings; we understand that debate club really isn’t about winning or losing, but about the process and how to improve our skills as debaters.
Right now, the Ezra Academy Debate Clubⓒ is split into four teams; two of the teams are debating issues of freedom of speech, and the other two teams have just debated the issues surrounding gun control. In the debate about gun control, both teams quoted the Second Amendment and several of the founding fathers. This was a debate that everyone really cared about. The team who wanted to change the law argued very passionately, using the Second Amendment to show that we no longer have the need for a militia, since we have a standing army, and therefore we no longer have the need to “bear arms.” Next week, we will have the other teams debate the issue of cyber-bullying and freedom of speech.
Overall, we are having a great time, and can’t wait to argue during our upcoming debate, as we become more experienced and now we know what to expect. Our goal in our next debate is to work on modulating our voices so that we don’t sound monotone!