More than 25 students at Narvie J. Harris Elementary Theme School are becoming known as great debaters in the metro Atlanta region. Latasha Bennett’s Gifted Debate Team, made up of 27 DeKalb County School District (DCSD) students, have claimed victory in 35 out of 42 contests in the Atlanta Urban Debate League as of December 2017.
At competitions, students put their writing, public speaking, critical thinking, problem solving and research skills to the test. A team, comprised of three students, is asked to answer a question by providing an affirmative or negative response. Students are also judged by their style, speed, tone and volume.
On September 29 at the the team’s first debate, Narvie J. Harris’s Gifted Debate Team claimed victory in 13 out of 15 contests. On November 10, the team repeated its exceptional performance by winning 20 out of 27.
“Although [a debate team] is a first-time endeavor for the school, there is not a problem in getting the students to ‘buy in.’ They are excited and up for the challenge,” Bennett said.