Debate bounces back

The long-awaited debate team is back in Fremont. After four long years, Kristen Widman has stepped up to the plate to educate and prepare new debaters. 

“I am really passionate about debate and am excited to bring a team back to Fremont High School. My goal is to grow our team, have fun and leave each student who participates with skills that they can take with them throughout their lives,” Widman said.

The debate season starts in September and ends in March. The students practice on Fridays in room B136, Mrs. Cope’s classroom. 

What is debate though? 

“Debate is an activity where students research and create an argument supporting or negating a set topic,” Widman said. 

First, a student must pick what kind of debate they want to do. There are many types of debate; the most common being policy debate. Policy debate is a team event. This year’s debate topic is the United States government’s cooperation with NATO. 

They will have three competitions in all. They will compete at Westside High School on Dec. 2, Creighton Prep on Jan. 19 and on February 3rd at a location yet to be decided. The debate team is excited about their season and hopes to join more competitions next year.

Lincoln Douglas is an individual debate event. Participants will debate whether civil disobedience is morally justified. The students will research topics and prepare an argument for both sides.

Another type of debate is Mock Trial. 

“Mock Trial is an activity where students participate as attorneys and witnesses on a team and walk through a court case in a competition against another team,” Widman said. 

Though the high school doesn’t offer Mock Trial as an activity, Widman made her own team as a separate activity for debate. 

“I began a Mock Trial team to give students that opportunity to participate in an educational extra-curricular activity that builds public speaking skills, leadership skills, and helps bring law to life.”

This year’s debate team won’t be participating in as many competitions so that students can learn more about debate, and Widman is just learning how to coach herself. 

“I am working with other debate coaches to learn the ropes myself since it has been awhile since I have competed,” Widman said.

Widman is passionate about debate and is honored to be able to bring this activity back to Fremont. 

I am passionate about debate because I was involved in the activity and it changed my life. I want the students at Fremont High School to have that same opportunity,” Widman said.

“If the next generation can learn to think critically, they will be unstoppable in changing the world.”