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The New York Debate League at the Morgan Library

"…it is…the duty of every citizen in times of trouble to do or say or even to think nothing that can weaken or discourage the energies of the state."  Winston Churchill

On June 16th at the Morgan Library in New York City, middle school students from the New York Debate League came together to honor Winston Churchill and the power of the English language.  Inspired by the words of Churchill, six students from the British International School of New York (New York City) and the Hackley School (Tarrytown, NY) participated in a public debate on the topic:  The government should restrict free speech during national emergencies. 

Members of the public were invited to take part in the debate by asking questions, showing their support through polite heckling, and voting on the outcome. While the opposition led by the Hackley 8th graders prevailed, all of these 5th-8th graders proved to the audience that civil discourse is indeed possible in this country. 

Learn more about the Morgan "Power Of Words exhibit at

Interviews of debate students at Morgan:

Karina Franke, of the Hackley School

George Wangenstein of the Hackley School

Brian Schmitt of the Hackley School

Nicholas Coleman of the British International School

Learn more about the ESU Middle School Debate Program

See video of the debate on YouTube

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