So how did a couple dozen Staples students spend the most beautiful day of the year?
They were in school all day yesterday, debating issues like whether waterboarding should be permitted by U.S. officials, women should be drafted, and adults should be allowed to serve alcohol to teenagers in private homes.
Those questions, and 15 others — ripped right from today’s headlines — were part of Staples’ “Modern Morality in the Law” mini-convention. Sponsored by the school’s Junior State of America chapter, it drew participants from schools across the tri-state region.
This was not a high-profile event. There were no parents with camcorders, critiquing every argument and riposte. But the stakes were high — “Best Speaker” awards were presented — and debaters responded not just to each other, but to questions from peers in the audience.
“I like this because you learn more than in some classrooms,” Brandon Edelson said.
“And the topics are pretty cool,” fellow sophomore AJ Green added.
Junior Victor Hollenberg took the pro side of “Resolved: that cosmetic surgery be prohibited for minors.” He lost that round, but was philosophical: “I guess people want their nose jobs.”
That was an interesting topic, but not as demanding as one he fielded earlier this year: “Resolved: that sex offenders should be chemically castrated.”
How did he do? “Well, that one kind of spiraled out of control,” Victor admitted.
And off he went, to a new classroom and the next debate. Sunshine was nice, but important points needed to be made. Victor’s voice had to be heard.