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PUBLIC FORUM DEBATE
Extemporaneous Speaking
Welcome to Finalist Files

December Issue Released

11/14/10 07:19:29 pm

PF Releases

Resolved: Cyberbullying should be a criminal offense.

Foreword: December’s topic will give you the opportunity to consider the purposes of punishment in the criminal legal system, and also to examine the challenges students have faced in light of the explosion of social media. This topic is timely, given the national spotlight on cyberbullying following the suicides of many young victims. Cyberbullying is a problem, but is involving the criminal legal system an appropriate solution? The strategy guide will provide you with the legal foundation that you need to structure your arguments, and begin to think about whether the solution to cyberbullying lies in schools, at home, in the civil legal system, or in criminalization.

Direct questions on the topic to Michelle@finalistfiles.com or the “Public Forum Debate” Facebook page. Good luck and enjoy debating!

Michelle Schmit


December Topic Announced

11/01/10 06:10:27 pm

PF Releases

Resolved: Cyberbullying should be a criminal offense.


November 2010 Released

10/17/10 09:51:13 pm

PF Releases

Resolved: High school Public Forum Debate resolutions should not confront sensitive religious issues.

Foreword: The mid-term elections are expected to result in substantial gains for conservative candidates in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. A new political party is emerging from its infancy and continues to inch its way into the mainstream political scene. The unemployment rate is 9.6 percent and the national debt is inching toward $14 trillion. Businesses are struggling to comply with new financial regulations and health care reform. Congress recessed before passing tax legislation for 2011, compounding the uncertainty felt by individuals and businesses in the current economic environment. Teenage bullying is leading to the loss of many young lives in schools across the country. Europe is on high alert as a potential target of anticipated terror attacks. And the NBA has announced that it is requiring its coaches to wear collared shirts. Because of the apparent lack of substantive issues to address, the NFL writing committee has you spending your month debating about debating.

I know many of you will not be using this topic; for those of you who are, my advice is to establish a framework to guide your thinking. My basic approach was to apply John Rawls’ philosophical work on political liberalism to the debate context, making this month’s file an interesting combination of LD and Policy argumentation. The strategy guide pulls on the ideas from the evidence without using the technical terminology (in an attempt to pretend like this is still Public Forum). The evidence packet is short because this month, your experiences have qualified you as an expert, and you’re probably your own best evidence. Good Luck.

Michelle Schmit


October 2010 Issue Released

09/16/10 03:09:45 pm

PF Releases

Resolved: NATO presence improves the lives of Afghan citizens.

Foreword: The purpose of this topic is to draw your attention to the human costs and benefits of the conflict between NATO and the Taliban from the perspective of Afghan civilians. While the intent of the resolution is thoughtful, its formulation is not. It is not NATO’s mission to improve the lives of Afghan civilians. Instead of objectively assessing the standard of living in Afghanistan, and evaluating the progress of President Karzai’s government or USAID, I spent time trying to somehow link NATO’s mission to education or health care. By identifying an inappropriate actor within the resolution, the writing committee has poorly framed this debate. However, I think you will find yourself both inspired and devastated by the experiences of Afghan citizens nine years after September 11, 2001.

If you would like to discuss arguments or need clarification on the files, feel free to contact me at Michelle@finalistfiles.com or post on the “Public Forum Debate” Facebook group. Enjoy the beginning of your debate seasons!

Michelle Schmit


October 2010 Topic Announced

09/01/10 09:28:09 pm

PF Releases

Resolved: NATO presence improves the lives of Afghan citizens.


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