Inland Lakes Students Debate Popular Topics in Assignment

For anyone that’s been through it, you might recall class debate being one of the most nerve-wracking experiences of middle or high school. You stand in front of your peers, sometimes under bright light, and focus with all your might on getting your point across.

For Inland Lakes Eight Grader, Kaylee Taglauer, “nerve-wracking” is how she describes her argument. She was one of the first teams to debate, Thursday, in the secondary school’s gym.

“I’m feeling pretty relieved that it’s just over now and I can go home and not have to worry about it and practice it for 30 times,” she says with a nervous laugh.The Con Team

Taglauer’s team; Kennadi O’Boyle, Jenna Shiel, Addison Byrne and Andrea Vigneau, were one of several groups to debate popular topics this week.

They were the opposition for the first topic: “Should Colleges and Universities Pay College Athletes?”

The proponents of the issue were Eli Foldenauer, Mason Green, Wyatt DuBois and Jeff Hemmer and Ty Kolly. Their group took the ‘pro’ side thinking it would be easier to find facts to support it. Foldenauer found he was more supportive of the idea the more research he did.

The Pro TeamHe also felt more confident about winning.

“Honestly, I was pretty confident going into it and afterwards I feel even better,” says Foldenauer. “I’m pretty sure we won, so I feel pretty good.”

Students spent five weeks preparing their arguments for the debate. They learned how to research, write, read and speak effectively.

Taglauer says they’ve been recording themselves practicing in front of their computers and sharing recordings with classmates to review. Despite the weeks of prep, she still found it to be a challenging project.

“I think it’s challenging to find some ‘con’ stuff  because we had to look through a lot of websites and find some good information,” she says. Inland Lakes Debates First Group

The debate project has been part of the seventh and eight grade curriculum the past four years, since teacher Jordan Paterson came to the secondary school.

“Students learn that there isn’t a right answer to these highly contentious topics,” says Paterson. “Research supports both sides and that’s okay! Too often they think the only outcome of an argument is “I’m right and if you don’t agree than you are a fool! Or what you’re saying isn’t true! It’s made up!” That simply isn’t the case once you sit down and actually research the topic. The world would be a lot better off if everyone did that before starting a debate at the dinner table.”

There was a second group debate on Thursday afternoon, with more taking place Friday.