Cedar International and St Georges Secondary schools have earned their spots in the semi-final round of the Inter-Secondary Schools debates slated for March 6.
The two schools emerged triumphant over their competitors during the first leg of the competition at the Althea Scatliffe Primary School on Monday.
St Georges Secondary (SGS) took home the win with 657 points while their challengers, Ciboney Centre for Excellence (CCE), earned 648.5.
SGS — which was represented by Chad Willock, Aniyah Wilkinson, and Ra’naa James (best speaker awardee) — took victory by opposing the moot: Climate change supersedes crime and drug trafficking as the greatest threat to the stability and development of the Virgin Islands.
Jesse Cook, Favor Obgonnaya and M’Kylah Pollock who comprised the CCE team had argued that, on the backdrop of the 2017 hurricanes, extreme climate change could and have the potential to affect the territory’s food supply and people’s health, by bringing infectious diseases.
The team pointed out that crime has never contributed to the widespread job loss and affected persons to the extent that climate change has. As such, the students further argued that climate change far outweighs crime and the territory has no control over it.
On the other hand, the Opposition (St Georges) argued that crime creates instability in any country and the tourism industry will be affected as a result.
They further argued that with the small size of the territory and its population, the BVI has the potential to become a gateway to drug trafficking. This, they said, has further potential to destroy the country’s reputation.
The said, as a consequence, crime-fighting should be at the forefront of the country. They said climate change can be monitored but crime, if ignored, will cause the BVI to ‘crash and burn’.
The second debate, Cedar School’s victory
Meanwhile, the Claudia Creque Educational Centre (CCEC) secured 597 points while Cedar International School (CIS) reeled in 712 points and the best speaker award.
In the second debate, students argued the moot: Greater gun control measures will reduce crime in the Virgin Islands.
The CCEC represented by Chadina Wheatley, Kiara Fahie and Ebony Waren proposed the moot, while Kathlyn Archibald (best speaker awardee), Amalia Adamson and Shamorie Glasgow from Cedar International School opposed.
The proposition team argued that ease of access to guns makes it easier for gun-related crimes to be committed. For this reason, they said stricter gun control laws are needed.
They said if the mandatory minimum sentence increases from five years to 30 years, it will act as an even greater deterrence for persons contemplating gun violence.
Furthermore, the team said the territory should focus on educating its young people and put measures in place to look at mental health issues, as this correlates with violence.
The opposing team, on the contrary, said the territory’s crime rate is among the lowest in the Caribbean region.
They said while more gun controlled measures are welcomed, in reality, it won’t reduce gun-related crime.
They said the territory should, instead, be stricter on enforcing the current gun laws.
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