[Ndca-l] Issues concerning the high school community

Stefan Bauschard stefan.bauschard
Wed Dec 18 11:06:26 EST 2013

I like the fact that this conversation is occurring on email because this
listserv is, I believe, limited to debate coaches. I think people are more
likely to speak what is on their minds than if this discussion is moved to
a public message board.

Also, I'm a bit sensitive to coaches airing all of their disagreements
(which is important to do) in front of all of the students.

I'm curious as to what others think.

On Wed, Dec 18, 2013 at 9:48 AM, John M. Masslon II
<johnmasslon at gmail.com>wrote:

> *I think this is by far the most pressing issue facing HS debate at the
> moment and am glad to see that a discussion has begun regarding our
> community?s response.  I wish I could be as eloquent and thorough as
> Manuel, Stefan, Aaron, Tara, et al, but I know that will not happen.  I
> would, however, like to add a few of my thoughts on the subject.    First,
> I think we need to begin is by looking in the mirror.  I believe that many
> of the problems that have occurred in college debate are the result of
> coaches pushing the unethical, and in some cases illegal, behavior by their
> students.  We only need to look as far as the CEDA quarterfinal round a few
> years ago to see that we, as coaches, are the ones that act in a manner
> that makes debate a hostile environment for fellow coaches and our
> students.  This is unacceptable.  I believe that the first step we should
> take in ensuring that there is no bullying, harassment, etc. by our
> students is to take forceful action against coaches that promote such
> behavior.   I know this will not be a popular sentiment, but I think we
> need to ban coaches who promote such behavior.  I run the tab room at the
> biggest HS tournament in Western Pennsylvania, and I would never allow
> Shanara Reid-Brinkley to step foot in a debate at my tournament.  If she
> chose to coach a HS team, I would not allow that team to be entered in the
> tournament.  The same would hold true for Bill Shanahan.  By eliminating
> coaches that act in such a manner from our activity, we ensure that these
> our students are not being influenced by such bad examples.  We set a
> precedent for our students that if you act in a manner that is inconsistent
> with the behavioral norms of debate, you are gone.  Thus, let us begin by
> looking in the mirror. I also think that it is important that we ensure
> that students who violate the norms of acceptable behavior at debate
> tournaments are punished accordingly.  For example, if a student tells
> his/her opponent in a round that they should kill themselves . that student
> should be done with HS debate.  That student?s coach should be the one to
> enforce such a rule, however, that is probably unrealistic.  Instead, I
> think that if a student behaves in such a manner at a tournament, the
> tournament director should inform all other tournament directors to not
> accept that student into future tournaments.  That way, a student knows
> that if their actions fall so far outside the bounds of acceptable
> behavior, they will no longer be permitted to participate in this great
> activity.   Finally, I think that the tabula rasa paradigm has gone to far.
>  I have traditionally been a fan of ?anything goes? debate and have voted
> for ?performance? teams more than I have voted against such teams.
>  However, after what we have seen in college debate recently, I have
> decided that enough is enough.  I have decided that I will no longer vote
> for such a team and will give them 0 speaks.  I hope that this stops the
> spread of what has killed college debate into the HS realm.  I?m not naive
> enough to think that my one person stand will have such an impact, but I
> hope that after the inevitable collapse of college debate, more people will
> realize we need to return to a more traditional style of debate.  This does
> not mean that we need to get rid of critical arguments, it just means that
> such arguments need to be made in the context of the resolution.   * The
> views expressed above are my own and do not reflect the views of Bethel
> Parks SD, Bethel Park SHS, or my employer.   John M. Masslon II, Esq.
> Policy Debate Coach, Bethel Park SHS *
> phone: 703-791-9483
> fax: 866-241-5219
> e-mail: johnmasslon at gmail.com
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Stefan Bauschard

Debate Coach, Harvard Debate
Debate Coach, Lakeland Schools
International Programs Consultant, National Forensic League (US)
Consultant, National Forensic League of Korea (ROK)
Consultant, Dipont Education Management (China)

(C) 781-775-0433
(F) 617-588-0283
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