TPS Teacher Has Students Tune In To Presidential Debate As Assignment

Tuesday, September 29th 2020, 9:18 pm
By: Amy Avery

TULSA, Okla. -

One Tulsa Public Schools debate teacher is having his students watch the Presidential debate Tuesday night to stress the importance of being involved.

Will Rogers Debate Coach Edward Perry said he usually had his students watch some sort of political debate every year, but with everything going on, he said this year is especially important.

"I personally thought they were going to immediately start flashing I’m big on Trump or I’m big on Biden,” said Perry. “But instead they said I am extremely interested in the questions you have."

Watch parties for the first presidential debate are looking a little different this year because of the pandemic, but Perry still felt it was important for his students to tune in wherever they are.

"I think it’s our civic duty to be informed about politics in general and who is going to be taking over our country, but I also think it's important to see two people who are experienced talking to an audience,” said Perry. 

Perry said he wants students to analyze the way the candidates speak and how they persuade their audience. He said these tactics are helpful for his students when they're competing against other debate teams.

"They need to be able to sell a story on a judge in order to win a debate round, so they need to see people who have been doing this for most of their lives,” said Perry.

Perry said students will answer many questions including the candidates' high points and low points, their best responses and others.

Perry also feels this assignment is important for his students who are of voting age and hopes it will help moving forward.

"I think it’s important for kids, especially our upperclassmen, to understand the political system and how it works and what the candidates support in order to make an informed decision for themselves,” said Perry.

The last day to register to vote for the general election is October 9.