[Ndca-l] Issues concerning the high school community

Tara Tate ttate
Tue Dec 17 18:45:08 EST 2013


I have not even begun to process everything in this email but I
contemplated the topic in #1 just this weekend and an email to send out to
the coaches.  Perhaps the world has spontaneously combusted and AT and I
are on the same wave length.  :)

I won't be as thoughtful and articulate as AT was in regards to #1 but I
latched on to a statement that Jenny Heidt made years ago at the Woodward
JV/Novice Nationals tournament when an arguably offensive alternative was
ran in conjunction with a critical argument.  "This is my workspace."
 There are some arguments that I do not want nor maybe arguably can legally
participate in as an adjudicator to a round.  I know the pref sheets take
care of this to some degree, but I do not want to be in a debate where the
student discussion is creating a hostile environment for me.  At the end of
the day, we do have to answer to administrators about what our kids argue.
 I would have zero answer to my principal if it was brought to his
attention that I was the educator in the room with *minors* discussing
issues that are questionable.

I am not trying to be the censorship police nor am I a prude.  I am a
realist - I coach minors and I have an administration that would not begin
to understand how debates about Latin American transcend to arguably
offensive material.  I just know that first and foremost I have to protect
my job and my program.    My administrators get debate better than most
do...I have little ability to defend participating in R-Rated material with
minors.

This is my work space.   I am the educator of minors and I do have to
answer to administrators.

More on the other in-depth pieces of AT's email later.

Tara

Best,
Tara L. Tate
Director of Debate, Glenbrook South HS
Chairperson of the Board, National Debate Coaches Association



On Tue, Dec 17, 2013 at 5:33 PM, Timmons, Aaron <timmonsa at greenhill.org>wrote:

> Colleagues,
>
> I have read with great interest, and in some cases varying modicums of
> concern, about what is going on in the college community in the last
> several months. Many on all sides of the argumentative spectrum in college,
> as well as the high school community, have asked me my opinion on many of
> the controversies that seem to embroil the college community. While this is
> not the forum to share that perspective (if you ask I will tell you!)  I DO
> very much feel that it is time for the HIGH SCHOOL community to get out in
> front on some of the issues and have open discussions about them. Based on
> personal observation as well as talking with others, the issues I see in
> college that are currently impacting the high school debate landscape but
> will only increase given the trends that I see happening. While I have had
> individual conversations with folks, I see this as a starting point to
> broader conversation among a larger group concerned about the high school
> landscape.
>
> A few ?meta? thoughts I believe to be true:
>
> 1st ? High School students are developmentally, and less socially mature
> than college students. Things done in rounds in college, may not be (read:
> are not from my view) as developmentally appropriate for high school
> students. I believe that while debate is a competitive, albeit educational
> game, it is an extension of the classroom. Judges serve the role as ethical
> educators whose role is to serve the educational needs of ALL students.
> Coaches need to understand, and use discretion in the form, as well as
> content, in the arguments their students make as high school debaters. I
> agree I am not the argument or language police. My only point is that as a
> community, soul searching needs to occur to allow alternative, diverse
> voices from different social locations but still be mindful of who we are
> charged to serve; the students (most of whom are minors). The question for
> me is ?would I allow what is being done in this debate in either form or
> content, to occur in a classroom on my campus?? If the answer is yes, go
> for it. If the answer is no, that might tell you something. Understand,
> this NOT the beginnings of a conversation to ban arguments, rather I view
> it as a conversation and potential sounding board to help us all formulate
> how (and what) we personally think about these issues.
>
> 2nd ? The landscape of debate has changed dramatically in the last 10 to
> 15 years. Due a variety of factors, debate has likely never been more
> diverse. The dress, style (dare I say method of swag), argument content,
> AND form of presentation have diversified as well. Coaches and judges need
> to be mindful of that fact and treat all students, regardless of social
> location, with respect. To be honest I don?t think the community writ large
> knew what was happening and was (and maybe still are), unprepared for the
> increasingly diverse voices that occupy the debate space.
>
> 3rd ? Given the changes in the argument set, and differing styles we are
> seeing, as consumers we need to demand that workshops diversify their
> curriculum to give our students better skill sets to engage ?performative?
> arguments,  beyond framework. The days of ?here is how you answer the K? in
> a two hour lecture, combined with the perfunctory ?cap k? produced as a
> throwaway, should be over. At camps that errs on the side of ?progressive?,
> perhaps sharing with students that not all folks that run plans are ?evil?
> might be in order. More diverse camp curriculum HAS to be part of the high
> school camp scene. We need to all work on helping each other,  actually
> engage each other.  As importantly, Black and Brown students deserve to see
> more workshop staff of color. It was shocking to me last year to see how
> many debaters of color who had success at majors in college, had to search
> to find jobs at ?mainstream? camps last summer. Just saying?
>
> Enough of my thoughts. A few questions for the community:
>
> 1st ? Do we think any college conversations will have a direct impact on
> the Tournament of Champions? If so, I think this conversation needs to
> occur in a way, and in a timely manner, to do proactive things to address
> all potential concerns from all parties.
>
> 2nd ? Is there a need to discuss Mutual Preference Judging and, in its
> current form, how it creates a ?permanent underclass? of judges, and
> negates the need for many of our students (on all places in the
> argumentative spectrum) to adapt, in addition to leaving women and folks of
> color ?on the outside looking in? of elim panels at many events?
>
> 3rd ? Is there a need to have a Counsel of Tournament Directors at the
> high school levels to discuss ?best practices?? If this were to occur I see
> broad groups, from diverse backgrounds, contributing to what ?best
> practices? actually were.
>
> 4th - Does the NFL/NDCA/TOC need to have a statement/policy regarding
> harassment that all tournaments have an option to adopt/pledge to follow?
>
> 5th ? Is there ANY interest in having a conference to work through the
> issues and have sessions to learn from each other? Locations including
> Dallas, Las Vegas, and the time between the CEDA and the NDT/the first day
> or so of the NDT in Indiana, have been thrown out as options. Let?s face
> it, there was a time coaches would talk at tournaments either at coaches?
> functions or between debates. That doesn?t happen anymore.   It looks like
> a forced adult play date of sorts might be in order.
>
> I know this covers lots of issues. Many of you may want to talk about
> other issues not addressed in this email. Others may have a couple specific
> on this list to discuss that uniquely concern them. My thought is although
> we are busy now, we will ALWAYS be busy. MAKING time to dialogue seems
> important.
>
> Happy Holidays!
>
> Aaron
>
> _______________________________________________
> Ndca-l mailing list
> Ndca-l at lists.debatecoaches.org
> http://lists.debatecoaches.org/listinfo.cgi/ndca-l-debatecoaches.org
>
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.debatecoaches.org/pipermail/ndca-l-debatecoaches.org/attachments/20131217/cf88bf65/attachment-0004.htm>



More information about the Ndca-l mailing list