Debate Students meet with DC Policy Maker

Kaitlin Clark, Blue M Managing Editor

Last Monday several Manhattan High debate students got the opportunity to meet with a policy maker from Washington DC.

The speaker, René Islas, is the executive director of the National Association for Gifted Children. He talked with students about how funding goes through the Department of Education, and how much of it is within the control of individual states.

“Usually, we like to blame the federal government a lot, but what I think we all learned is that mostly the states have a lot of control for what goes on especially in education in our schools,” Trinity Brockman, sophomore, said.  “So I think what I realized is that not only do we need a better government, but also states are part of the authority too.”

Debate students were given time to talk with Islas, an opportunity many of them took advantage of.

“As a person who wants to pursue interests in political science and being in government, the talks I had with him personally about how to get into government work were interesting,” Will Bannister, sophomore, said.

The national policy debate topic for high school debate teams for the 2017-18 season deals with education reform, so a speaker like Islas provides students with unique insight that they can use while preparing for later debates.

“We definitely learned a lot about how actual governmental mechanisms work, which is good for the practice of debate,” Bannister said.