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AFS Debate Club’s Mock Trial

An insightful event inside of an eventful week
Aquilla Mixon ’25

On Monday, April 8, the debate club held a mock trial during lunch and club block. 

The main topic of the debate was whether or not homeschooling was effective for students. On the approving side, students argued homeschooling offered students a flexible curriculum, nurtured confidence and independence, and avoided the monotony and toxic social environments often found in traditional schooling environments. 

On the other hand, the dissenting side argued that homeschooled students’ social development is stunted by a lack of peers, that traditional schooling provides structure to students that can be lost in the flexibility of homeschooling, that there can be gaps in knowledge because of untrained parents/ tutors, and that traditional school offers opportunities for conflict resolution between teachers and students that can be helpful in a student’s adult life.

 It was enlightening to see the students speak about subjects they clearly spent copious amounts of time researching and putting together clear opening arguments, rebuttals, and closing statements to emulate a real trial. 

Judging the Mock Trial was debate club clerk Lauren’s sister, Simone Washington who works as a professional attorney at a law firm called The Travelers Insurance Company. 

She gave participants advice on their overall presentation, imploring them to project when speaking to the opposing side, actively listen when they are not speaking, and always tie their opinions back to the facts they have at hand. She cited her own experience being in real-world court cases and how she was expected to present herself to the judge and jury, as well as using her time to answer questions from the audience about her career. 

There was a brief recess before it was finally determined that the side for homeschooling won the mock trial debate for their strong argument backed by several pieces of evidence. This amazing mock trial would not have been possible without the hard work and organization of Lauren Washington ‘26, Amaya Manigault ‘26, and Ella Hawkins ‘26.

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