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Debate Regarding Bullying and Teen Violence Held as a Class Assignment

Jun 16, 2014

Recently, the Thinking Critically class at the Florence Campus, led by instructor Callie Lhost, held a debate as part of their final project.  The debate topic was whether bullying was a major concern when related to teen violence. 

The class had been divided into two teams at the start of the term and they went head to head during the final class in front the student judge, Angie Henn, and the guest panel of judges, including Cheryl Heer (librarian and instructor), Samantha Palmer (student services representative), and Donna Peck (admissions representative).  The debate format allowed an introduction, argument presentation, cross-examination, and conclusion from each team.  Following each team’s conclusion, the judges were allowed to question and comment on each team. 

Each team presented great statistics that supported their side.  Team One, consisting of Brian Taylor, Teresa Riddle, and Vasva Karahusic, presented statistics from the Center for Disease Control and told us that more firearms were available than ever before.  They did not disagree that bullying may lead to violence, but argued that there are other prominent reasons, including mental instability, poverty, and drug use.  Team Two, composed of Janie Stull, Samia Asker, Maguette Gueye, and Carey Kelly, provided staggering percentages, including that more than 90% of those that were student shooters had been bullied, and that more than 70% of teens say they have been bullied at some point. 

Callie said, “This opportunity was a great learning experience for the students in understanding what credible sources are and a good exercise in being critical thinkers.”

Some of the student who participated in the debate regarding bullying and teen violence included (front row left to right): Bryan Taylor, Vasva Karahusic, (back row left to right): Teresa Riddle, Carey Kelly and Angie Henn.