A District Speech Competition was held for students of grades 10-12 at Court #1 at the Bahamas Government Complex on Oct. 16. Students from Abaco Central High School (ACH), St. Francis de Sales Catholic School, Long Bay School, S.C. Bootle High School and Forest Heights Academy (FHA) participated.
Each debate team consisted of three members, with one school serving as the proposition while the opposing school represented the opposition. The first speakers were given seven minutes to speak on the topic, followed by the second speakers given five minutes to speak, and finally the third speakers allotted three minutes.
In the speech competition between ACH and St. Francis de Sales, the topic was, “All parents should be required to attend parenting classes before having a child.”
Radisha Destine was the first speaker for St. Francis. She said that parenting classes are restrictive and have an adverse effect on children. She added that there are no alternatives when the methods put forth fail, and called on all parents to full practice their parental responsibility. She ended by reinforcing the adage that, “It takes a village to raise a child.”
Opposing speaker Eudine Pinder of Abaco Central High School disagreed with Radisha, and indicated that the benefits of parenting classes are that they teach life-saving skills like cardiac pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and they are effective in the reduction of infant mortality. All in all, Eudine emphasized that parenting classes place less pressure on society as a whole.
Ashuntae Duncanson of St. Francis was the second opposing speaker. She outlined numerous cultural, religious and negative effects of parenting classes. Ashuntae said that classes fit into a general mode and are centered on control. She explained that societies all over the world were formed without the need for parenting classes, and after quoting Proverbs 22:6 in training up a child, she said that even the Bible speaks to the innate ability of parents raising children.
Wesley Raymonville of ACH was the second proposition speaker, and he expressed that it should be mandatory for parents to attend classes, which are free of charge. Like his colleague, he pointed out the benefits of parenting classes.
This exchange went back and forth leading into the rebuttal where the teams were given five minutes to prepare. In the end, ACH placed second with 909 points, and St. Francis won with 990 points.
Long Bay School and S. C. Bootle High School were the next schools to compete.
Their topic was: “All students should be required to learn a foreign language in high school.”
Lazaria McIntosh (S.C. Bootle) and Shiwana Gilot (Long Bay) were the first proposition and opposition speakers, respectively, followed by Todd Denton (S.C. Bootle) and Tanesha Gelin (Long Bay), and Romea Rolle (S.C. Bootle) and Joshua Archer (Long Bay). S.C. Bootle students were the winners having accumulated 1090 points, while Long Bay students walked away with 950 points.
The second round of the competition is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Oct. 30 at Court#1 at the Bahamas Government Complex.