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During the month of March, the debate classes took part in a March Madness Tournament as a new way for the students to practice debating the month’s topic of whether or not the United States should suspend all aid to Pakistan.

“It was Mrs. Tran’s idea to do some type of tournament with the students as a fun and different way to practice the March topic,” history and public forum debate teacher Jennifer Coleman said.

The tournament was a public forum debate activity, which calls for students to work with a partner, Coleman said.

“Typically the students have the same partner through the whole year to go to tournaments, but for March Madness, since it was mad, they had to pick a different partner.”

The tournament took about six class periods, two for preliminary debating and four for the elimination round, according to Coleman. The debaters competed in two preliminary rounds, and then the teams were ranked one through 16.

After the preliminary round, the teams debated in single elimination rounds. “We started with the Sweet Sixteen and worked our way down to the Elite Eight, the Final Four, and we had our final round on April 2,” she said.

All four of the debate classes meet during A block, so they all took part in the tournament, according to Coleman.

“There are two public forum classes, which were the ones doing the actual debating, one Lincoln Douglas class and one Congress class,” she said. “We brought all the classes together and used the Lincoln Douglas and the Congress students to be our judges for the two preliminary rounds and the first elimination round.”

Senior Allie Freed was a judge from the Lincoln Douglas class.

“I think this tournament was a nice way to match up novice debaters with experienced debaters in a way so that both debaters can hone their respective skills,” Freed said. “It was also a chance for debaters who don’t do public forum to see what that realm of debate is all about.”

Sophomore Quinn Andersen thought the tournament was “fun and a good way to help kids get out of their comfort zones.”

Coleman hopes to have another March Madness Tournament next year.

“It shows all the teachers working together, it shows all the students working together, and I think it really shows the unity of the team,” she said.

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