16th January 2019
Writing: Bilal Mobarik (Year 12)
Photography: Bilal Mobarik (Year 12)
Editing: Amal Shakir (Year 10)
As the sixth form debating society drew to a close for the academic year, four pairs of Year 12 students were selected to debate in the Oxford Union Society's annual schools' competition - the largest British Parliamentary school-level debating competition in the world.
Hosted by Magdalen College School, the teams approached the challenge with apprehension and excitement. The format meant that there was only 15 minutes of preparation time after the motion was announced, with the teams taking either the role of the government or the opposition.
The first motion was 'This house would ban violent video games’ and the government sides generally took the position that such games normalise violence, especially in young children. The opposition pointed to examples of people playing such games responsibly and questioned the ramifications of such a blanket ban economically and the precedents in terms of state involvement it seemed to set.
The second debate proved trickier and much more controversial however, with the motion 'This house would arm the police'. The government teams argued for a need for arming the police, pointing to examples where swift armed response could've prevented tragedy. However, the opposition teams argued against this 'need’ and noted how subconscious racial bias, among other factors, could potentially lead to loss of innocent life while also alienating the police from the average person.
Overall, we all agreed it was a brilliant experience and would like to thank Mr Spencely for his continued help in preparing for the tournament and organising the weekly debating sessions.