195 Dallas ISD fifth-grade debaters go wild at their spring tournament

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The Dallas ISD elementary debate program concluded its fourth season with a debate tournament at Adamson High School on May 14. Working in teams of three, 195 students from 29 schools took a stand and defended the pros and cons of the resolution: Zoos should be banned.

The high school cafeteria was vibing with debate energy as students rehearsed speeches and anxiously waited for their pairings to be announced. Pairings are the list of teams that will debate against each other for the individual round.

Debate teaches students to think on another level, as holding two opposing ideas in their minds at once and engaging in a persuasive style of discussion is an exceptional form of critical thinking, said Michelle Read, coordinator of the Student Activities Department.

“In competitive debate, success comes down to which team collectively makes the most compelling arguments, not whether or not we changed someone’s mind,” she said.

Once pairings were officially posted, all students hurried in varying directions to get to their room and take their place at their respective debate tables for the first round of arguments. Following lunch, students were paired for a second round to debate the flip side of the first round. Each team has to argue both sides of the resolution.

School trophies were awarded to the teams with the most points at the end of the tournament. The awards included golden cup trophies for first through fourth place teams and 50 gold medals and 50 silver medals for top individual speakers.

One team received the honor of being named the top debate program in Dallas ISD and received a sweepstakes trophy. This year, that title went to Dealey Montessori Academy.

The Spring 2022 Elementary Debate team champions were:

  • 1st Place Team – Burleson Elementary
  • 2nd Place Team – Dealey Montessori Academy
  • 3rd Place Team – Travis Vanguard Elementary
  • 4th Place Team – Solar Preparatory School for Girls
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