The Whittier Miscellany

Bradley and Teague Debate Kavanaugh

Olivia Ivins, Community Writer

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Once a month the WFS world affairs club appoints two of their members to dispute a topic typically consisting of current events. The most recent debate was between Ellie Bradley 19’ (pro) and Annabel Teague 20’ (con) who argued if Brett Kavanaugh’s sexual allegations should keep him from his role on the Supreme Court. The hot topic attracted a large lunchtime crowd of not only upperchoolers but faculty as well to hear what each side had to say. Pre-debate, students worried about the sensitivity of the subject and the possible repercussions as Hannah Blackwell 20’ said, “It is a really polarized topic so I worry what someone may say something that could be taken in the wrong way.” Speaking in favor for his inauguration, Teague worried about how her argument could be taken by her peers, but despite this gave a well thought out objective argument that won the audience’s approval.

Each student gave an opening statement for her side to introduce the bases of her arguments. Ellie Bradley began with an extremely moving sentiment describing Christine Blasey Ford’s bravery for coming forward and becoming an idol for the one in five women in the United States hiding in silence. She emphasized that by electing Brett Kavanaugh he will become one of the eight people that will represent citizens of the United States, but more specifically a little over fifty percent of the population, women. Teague followed with her statement that pointed out the falsification and lack of evidence in the investigation of the alleged incident. In response to Bradley she pointed out character flaws of Kavanaugh, but not having to do with the accusation.

After the initial introductions each side had the opportunity to dive further into their arguments with shorter statements. Bradley questioned his ability to perform objectively in such a position with previous radical behavior shown post accusation. Specifically she brought up a current and important bill on birth control and how a bias could affect the outcome. Teague had earlier highlighted unfavorable behavior of Kavanaugh, so Bradley reiterated this to further doubt his ability. In response to Teague’s earlier statements, regarding the validity of said incident, Bradley spoke about the brain and how it processes traumatic events. “It is proven that the hippocampus can block certain unfavorable memories from becoming long term memories in those who have experienced a traumatic event as Christine Blasey Ford has.” Teague responded with specifics of the case and holes that just do not seem to add up, but maintaining her focus on the matter at hand “Should Brett Kavanaugh’s sexual allegations keep him from his role on the Supreme Court.”

Both sides held great points, but only one side could win. By just a few votes Annabel Teague won. Ellie Bradley’s argument was very moving and highlighted specifics, but unfortunately strayed slightly off course from just Brett Kavanaugh’s sexual allegations. The lack of evidence behind Ford’s case was the final point that moved voters to vote for Teague. It was clear that there is speculation surrounding Kavanaugh’s ability at holding such a high position, but the sexual allegations, emphasis on allegation, should not keep him from those duties. Despite the outcome, debates are a great way to get WFS students talking about world affairs and current events. As Nick Redd said, “I think it is really great that our community can talk so openly about a controversial topic— I appreciate that my school can approach something like this in the way that we did.” Additionally, the debates gather the entire community together for some friendly competition and to learn more about what is going on around the world!

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Bradley and Teague Debate Kavanaugh