Dallas ISD Junior Varsity debate duo places 3rd in Urban Debate National Championship Tournament


Vying with 22 other urban debate leagues from across the country, two Dallas ISD students from Judge Barefoot Sanders Law Magnet placed third in the Junior Varsity Division at the 15th Annual Urban Debate National Championship Tournament.

Making the semifinals, the team of Hope Habia and Sarahi Vasquez represented the Dallas Urban Debate Alliance (DUDA) and Dallas ISD in the national tournament after winning five preliminary rounds of policy debate. Also, Habia finished seventh in the nation with junior varsity speaker points.

The national high school policy debate resolution for 2022 centered on the protection of water resources within the United States. The team won with a case that would impose a national ban on fracking. This was the first time a junior varsity division was included at the national level of the competition.

Cindi Timmons, executive director of the Dallas Urban Debate Alliance, said she was proud of the placement of the Law Magnet team.

“Law Magnet’s hard work in advance of the national tournament paid off after three days of intense competition,” Timmons said. “This was the first opportunity for this team to display their talent on a national stage. Their future as varsity debaters is very bright.”

Eight Dallas ISD students qualified to compete in the national tournament. The competition was held virtually this year.

The teams competing in the national tournament were:

School Division Team Members
JBS Law Magnet High School Junior Varsity Hope Habia

Sarahi Vasquez

Trindad Garza Early College High School Junior Varsity Michelle Cortez

Esmeralda Equihua Sanchez

North Dallas High School Junior Varsity Deanna Straughan

Bryan Rivas

TAG Magnet High School Varsity Francesca Gilbard

Joe Suek

Partnering with Dallas ISD since 2007, DUDA, a nonprofit, is one of the 23 leagues associated with the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues (NAUDL). The partnership is a district collaboration with DUDA to implement competitive policy debate in Dallas ISD secondary schools.

For more information about DUDA and NAUDL, please visit: dallasdebate.org and urbandebate.org


































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