Friday, January 8, 2016

Vermont High School Novice Debate Championship

Hazen will be hosting the 2016 Vermont High School Novice Debate Championship next month.  Below you will find a guest blog post from the debate team coach (and school board member) David Kelley.  If you are interested in volunteering as one of the judges, please email David.

Hazen Union to Host 2016 Vermont High School Novice Debate Championship Tournament This year Hazen Union High School will be hosting the 2016 Vermont High School Novice Debate Championship Tournament. The tournament will be held on Saturday, February 13, 2016. The topic the students will be debating is “Resolved: The United States federal government should adopt a carbon tax.” The tournament will bring together first year high school debaters and teams from around Vermont to debate an issue very much at the forefront of public policy debates in both Washington, D.C. and in Montpelier.

In Montpelier, legislators on the Joint Energy Committee are now reviewing two bills that would raise the cost of a gallon of gasoline by approximately 88 cents in order to persuade consumers to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The same legislators are also considering ways in which this tax can be designed so as to have the least impact on Vermont's poorest and most vulnerable citizens. At Hazen Union High School, on Saturday, February 13, 2016, some of Vermont's best young minds will have an opportunity to share and debate their ideas about this proposal.

Vermont High Schools use the “Public Forum” debate format. Each month students debate a different topic currently confronting state or national governments. Other topics this year have included the Syrian refugee crisis, standardized testing and economic sanctions imposed on Russia. Each team has two speakers. The teams flip a coin at the beginning of each debate and the winner of the coin toss gets to decide which side of the issue they will argue. The debate begins with a prepared statement of each team's position, followed by rebuttals, cross-examination and summaries. Each debate lasts approximately forty five minutes.