Chicago Public Schools debate coach grateful students accepted virtual experience

Chicago Public Schools debate coach grateful students accepted virtual experience
The plaques and medals our Chicago Public Schools debate team at Hancock College Prep won so far this season

Can our school’s young debate team survive during the pandemic? I doubted students would show up to online debate meetings and attend virtual debate tournaments. With our Chicago Public Schools debate team starting its third year, I thought remote learning would devastate our team’s participation.

In September, over fifty students showed up to our first virtual meeting.

This year’s topic helped secure past members’ return and new members’ involvement. When students heard we’d debate criminal justice reform, the debate team experience sold itself.

As students learned the criminal reform cases about eliminating money bail, big-data policing, requiring police body cameras, and defunding the police, they kept returning.

This Saturday, our Hancock College Prep team will compete in the fifth and final debate tournament of the regular season.

Read about our experience at the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues Web site.

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