Tech Prep’s First Debate Team


MARCH 20, 2014.  On February 1st, 2014 Washington DC’s Urban Debate League held it monthly tournament at Cesar Chavez’s Parkside campus. The resolution to be debated was, “The Supreme Court rightly decided that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was unconstitutional”. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was a law created to prevent states (specifically southern states) from discriminating against minorities when they are trying to vote.

This was Friendship Tech Prep’s first tournament with its newly formed debate team. Rhonea Long and Trayona Lawrence were the students representing Tech Prep. We won 3 out of 4 of our matches, losing only to undefeated BASIS Charter School. Trayona Lawrence excelled in the crossfire and Rhonea Long excelled in the speeches. The speeches are four minutes each and during this time we defended our argument and used evidence to back up our claims. A crossfire is a two-minute exchange between opponents. The first crossfire is between the first and second speaker; the second crossfire is between the third and fourth speaker; and the final crossfire (called the grand crossfire) is between both teams and all participating teammates. We won a medal for 8th Overall Team and a trophy for 2nd Best Overall Winning Percentage (75%)—coming close behind the undefeated BASIS Charter School.

There were 4 rounds throughout the day and during each round we debated the topic.

From the beginning the odds were in our favor. We lost the coin toss, but we got the side we wanted (pro) and we got to go second. We both knew that we were going to win.

There’s a lot of things for the Tech Prep Debate Team to work on, but considering that this was the first debate we ever participated in, we did an amazing job.

Rhonea Long is a sophomore and Trayona Lawrence is a junior at Friendship Tech Prep Academy.