So, before Christmas, I had my principal and curriculum supervisor challenging me to change things around from what I had been doing. So in a moment of what seems to be slight inspiration, I began a debate today.
One of my classes really does function on a higher thinking level than everyone else, so I wanted to give them something more challenging. I decided to have them participate in a Lincoln-Douglas debate. What was the topic? Well, I tried to think of what some things were that were current topics and could be related to business. The two I came up with were gas prices and immigration.
Mundane topics, right?
Well, gas prices has to do with supposed “industry experts” predicting that gas would rise to $5/gallon this summer. The debate would have a basis in the argument over supply-and-demand. That is a good basic business principal.
The immigration argument has to do with the current immigration debate going on in Arizona. It also centers in on the push state lawmakers in Arizona are making to pass a law that would not issue birth certificates for babies born in the state unless at least one parent was a US national.
I put the vote to the students. Everyone voted for the immigration topic. I guess it would make sense since I’m teaching in a school where I believe Hispanics are actually the majority group.
So, the resolution I gave them is as follows:
“Resolved: Children of illegal aliens should not be allowed automatic citizenship if they are born on US soil.”
A really hot-button topic…
I think some really good debate could come out of either of these topics. However, I already figured out and shared with these students a particular piece of rhetoric that goes along with this resolution. The 14th ammendment states that children born under US jurisdiction are afforded citizenship. So if you track back with a) people in the US that are still residents of another country are subject to US laws, but are ultimately under the jurisdiction of their home country; and, b) children in the US are not considered to be able to lelgally make their own decisions until they turn age 18, so underage children would fall under the jurisdiction of their parents; which, c) means that children inherit their citizenship from their parents, which IS defended by the constitution also.
What do you think?