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Bob Jones, James Clemens teams square off in debate

They considered the proposition, both the affirmative and negative sides, and ‘argued’ before a judging audience. The debate teams from Bob Jones and James Clemens high schools recently held their first mock debate.

“The mock debate with James Clemens went really well on Jan. 8,” Kristen A. Bergeson said. Bergeson sponsors the Bob Jones debate team, while Lucas Powell handles those responsibilities at James Clemens. Powell sponsored at Bob Jones before moving to James Clemens.

This debate included two rounds, each for the same resolution: “On balance, the Supreme Court decision in ‘Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission harms the election process.'”

Congress created the independent, regulatory Federal Election Commission to administer and enforce the Federal Election Campaign Act, which governs financing of federal elections. The commission discloses campaign finance details and enforces provisions, such as the limits and prohibitions on contributions during a presidential election.

“This was a great resolution for our teams to debate, because it was interesting and relevant, considering the impact of the ruling on the recent presidential election,” Bergeson said.

The Madison teenagers had the chance to visit with former teammates and learn from peers who are outstanding in the techniques of debate. For this first meeting, judges were not involved and winners were not declared between Bob Jones and James Clemens. “This was really just for practice,” Bergeson said.

“Any chance to practice with outside debaters is helpful but working with James Clemens was especially helpful as many of our students competed side by side prior to the opening of the new high school,” Bergeson said. “I definitely think this debate will become a regular event.”

The Bob Jones team debated this same resolution about the election commission at the High School Debate Tournament at Samford University on Jan. 11-12.

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