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2nd Annual Middle School Debate Competition

The 2nd Annual Middle School, Inter-School Debate Competition took place on March 6th at Red Bank Middle School (RBMS). The competition took place between four of the sending districts of Red Bank Regional High School. The participating schools were Little Silver, Shrewsbury, Union Beach, and Red Bank Middle School. Judges for the competition were Red Bank Regional High School teachers. For the 2nd year in a row, the Red Bank Middle School 8th Grade Debate Team took home the championship.

Fifteen teams participated in this year’s competition with each team consisting of 2 to 3 students. The debate topic was Standardized Testing Does More Harm than Good. Preparation for the debates was challenging and rigorous.  Students were not informed prior to the debate which side they would be assigned, therefore, they needed to diligently prepare to debate each side of the issue. All the participants were poised and well-reasoned. Each group articulated ample evidence to support their claims and their respect for each other exemplified good sportsmanship. The initial debates occurred in various Red Bank Middle School classrooms and each room was filled to capacity with friends, family, and educators. The pressure and tension could be felt by audience members, however, all of the students appeared calm, cool, and collected. The judges provided specific feedback when presenting the results including comments on eye contact, research and references, and articulation. Each debate was close but at the end, the Red Bank team remained undefeated and were the last four teams standing for the semi-finals and championship rounds.

After a pizza and ice cream break with drinks and snacks donated by Foodtown the semi-finals and finals convened in the Middle School's auditorium. The topic for the semi-finals and championship rounds was Atomic Weapons Should be Banned. The competition was intense between the Rocket students and the judges spent significant time discussing the outcome. In the end, the championship was awarded to Hane Linares, Anthony Burden, and John Moran. This was truly a team effort as all the students worked extremely hard and put in many hours of practice to develop their arguments and get ready for the debates. The RBMS debate students were Treasure Woods, Michael Freeman, Chloe Boyd, Bryan Flores, William Blake, Henry Dal Pra, John Moran, Anthony Burden, and Hane Linares. Their dedication, hard work, and commitment to excellence truly demonstrated the RBMS Best Self-mantra.

A big thank you to Union Beach, Little Silver, Shrewsbury and Red Bank for engaging our students in this experience.  Special thanks to Red Bank Middle School Teacher, Ms. Holly Kluck for organizing this event. It was a positive experience for all and a great opportunity for students from neighboring communities to compete and connect.  We look forward to hosting again in 2020!