Return to Headlines

Mumford Debate Team Members Learn Valuable Life Lessons

Joining a debate team may be the most important high school decision you make.  

You get to advocate about issues that matter to you.  The topic for 2018-2019 was Immigration.  Students argued whether the United States Federal Government should or should not loosen the restrictions on legal immigration.

Your team becomes your family. Team members are many times some of the closest friends. They travel all over the state together for tournaments and share plenty of laughs everyday in class. Not to mention, very intelligent people tend to do debate, so you’ll receive plenty of help with your homework!

Debaters learn how to deal with failure and embarrassment. Debate tournaments provide a safe environment for learning how to brush off your mistakes, learn from them, and ultimately move forward. People won’t judge you, either, because everyone’s been there at one point or another.

For debaters writing essays becomes a breeze. Have to write an argumentative persuasive essay in English? Just think up a rebuttal in your head and you’ll have three pages written down! Have to write a paper that analyzes a current event? You’ll have hundreds of articles already filed for you to choose from. Doing speech and debate drastically improves your linguistic and logical skills, along with your ability to construct strong arguments in a short amount of time.

As a member of the debate team you become more adaptable. One of the most challenging yet exciting aspects of debate is that you can’t foresee exactly how the round will play out (i.e. what case your opponent will read, the judge you’ll get, which side of the debate you’re on). Eventually, you’ll know how to think of responses to multifaceted arguments on the spot and appeal to judges who would normally disagree with your position. In public speaking events, you learn how to quickly adapt to your judge, audience, and room layout. If you forget your speech in the middle of performing it, you learn how to improvise. Adaptability is a necessary skill for success in life, and speech and debate develops it.

Debate Teams help students develop critical thinking and analytical skills. It fosters an ability to think on one's feet and research skills to formulate a well supported argument for issues. 

 The Mumford High School Debate Team was established in September 2017 as an elective class.  It consists of 9-12 graders.  In our 1st year we sent 15 students to their first ever Debate Camp experience.  It is because of this training/experience that Mumford High School's Debate Team was able to confidently compete in 6 tournaments in the Detroit Urban Debate League and 1 State Tournament.

More than anything else, the debate team offers students an enjoyable and rewarding experience that with stick with them for the rest of their lives.   Mumford Students attended Michigan Youth in Government over Winter Break where we introduced bills and argued them on the State Senate and Congress floor in Lansing .  Our team has grown from 15 to 30 in the 2018-2019 academic year and we brought home a total of 45 awards in the Detroit Urban Debate League this year.