GLEN ROSE - Wealth and equality can be detrimental to democratic ideas.
This is an example of one of the topics that the students of Glen Rose High School Debate Team covered during its Lincoln-Douglas (LD) debates.
Named after the 1858 debate between Abe Lincoln and Stephen Douglas, the LD Debate is of one-on-one style and places a heavy emphasis on moral and ethical values, as well as logic and analysis. Topics in the debate can range from individual freedom versus the collective good to economic development versus environmental protection.
During the debate the students participate in three preliminary rounds, and, if their arguments are on point, they can advance to the quarterfinals and then the finals. The students are evaluated on the evidence, delivery and analysis of their argument and each debater must cover seven-major arguments during their 45-minute debate.
GRHS freshman, Cassandra Gutierrez will be participating in her first LD debate on Friday, Feb. 26 and she said the experience is a little nerve-racking. Gutierrez said she spent Tuesday evening perfecting the details of her case and argument with GRHS English teacher and debate coach, Brian Sowell.
Students can also choose to participate in the cross-examination (CX) debate, which consists of a two-person team. Members of the team argue for or against a resolution that calls for policy change by the government. Whereas, LD changes the debate topics with each new debate, CX utilizes only two topics - one in the fall and one in spring - each year.
In order to prep for the debate, the students must put their arguments together by researching not only the facts and evidence to support their cases, but they also must present evidence to serve as a rebuttal to their opponent’s arguments, as well.
This is Dade Pritchett’s first year in debate and he participates in the CX debates. The GRHS junior said that you will hear some interesting arguments at the debates and noted that they can often become heated.
Being in debate can be a difficult but rewarding challenge, Sowell explained.
“It helps them to be able to think on their feet and prepares them to be leaders,” Sowell said.
Pritchett describes the debate as an exhilarating experience and said he is looking forward to debating again his senior year.
Next up for the debaters is the UIL Academic Meet being held at GRHS on Feb. 26.