Queens, New York On Saturday, December 12th, the American Debate League hosted the Queens Fall Classic Debate Tournament at M.S. 172 in Glen Oaks, Queens, NY. As debate programs have been a recent addition to after school programs in Queens, this tournament is notable in that it is one of the first Middle School/Intermediate School debate tournaments hosted in Queens. The competition featured three levels of middle school public forum debate. The American Debate League proudly welcomed schools from across the city for this tournament as well as local Queens schools including MS172, MS 74, & IS 237.
Winners included: Novice division - MS 172 Rida Nasir & Hibah Arshad; Intermediate division - MS 74 Diego Mojica & Weiye Yasen; & Advance division - Agape Leaders Institute, Aditya Sehgal & Viraj Jayam. In the overall standings, also known as the Sweepstakes Award; MS 172 placed first, followed by MS 74 & IS 237.
Committed to the development of public forum debate in schools, the American Debate League teaches students the fundamentals of public speaking and argumentation for use in the public forum. While engaging in Public Forum Debate; a style of debate characterized by the use of logical and persuasive arguments accessible to a wide audience, students take turns arguing either the pro or con side of a proposed resolution. On Saturday, students debated the question of Should the united States accept a higher number of refugees from Syria?
As a legislator who is often engaged in the public discussion, Assemblyman David Weprin values the development of structural thought, critical thinking and leadership for children and supports the introduction of academic debate in our schools on the elementary, middle and high school levels.