Meet the DHS Debate Team


Contrary to popular belief, the debate team is not a group of so called “nerdy” kids who meet once a week and sit in a circle yelling at each other about politics. “It’s really just a cool club with awesome kids and the one and only Mr. Caron,” said freshman Allison Silvia.

DHS is a member of the Massachusetts Forensics Speech and Debate League, which consists of over 20 schools. The team itself has been largely overlooked even though DHS competes against many private schools that have debate as a class integrated into the curriculum.

Since there isn’t a debate class offered here, DHS is actually one of the smallest teams at competitions. Still, many of the current members, as well as alumni, have either made it to the finals or have received honorable mentions.  Students who have won in the past include seniors Samuel Steed and Sabrina Boukheir, and alumni Samuel Thomas, Courtney Tougas, and Alex Golen.

“Debate is a fantastic group of people and you learn alot from it,” said senior and president of the debate team Sam Steed. “It’s a fantastic thing to be a part of.” Steed explained that over the last several years, the team has increased the number of competitions they attend from one a year to about eight this year. They also have been steadily winning more and more accolades at competitions.

Debate competitions aren’t just about yelling out facts and opinions across the table to one another, and it isn’t a “whoever is louder wins the competition” situation. Debate is all about your side of the argument and the more facts you have to support your argument, the more likely you will win the debate.

“The students who go for debate and forensics tend to be intellectually ambitious,” said English teacher and debate advisor John Caron. “These are the kids who are passionate about issues and love to engage in argument and craft arguments.”

Biology teacher Scot Boudria said, “To me, debate is facts, that’s all that matters.  The facts shape the opinion so the opinion shouldn’t matter.  Your opinion on something won’t matter unless you have the facts to back it up.”

You don’t need to agree with the side of the argument you are debating on to win a competition, but it does help if your heart is into it.

Junior Alexander Motha said, “[Debate] promotes better social connections with our opponents from different schools.  It’s a lot different from other sports and clubs because most people don’t form friendships or even have friendly conversations with their opponents.”

Many have questioned the “debaters” about what actually goes on in the club. Is it all monkey business or is it serious?  Senior Nicholas Richard said, “The only reason I come to debate is to see Mr. Caron’s hair.”  Whether he was joking or not, there is no denying that the debate club has many conversations that are just as funny as they are serious.

Freshman Alexias Soares said, “Debate is an interesting club where we talk about modern day topics.  It’s also a great place to meet intellectual people.”

Silvia adds, “People think it’s all about politics, but it’s so much more than that.”

Junior Jack Kenney said, “Debate brings an interesting and diverse group of people and opinions together, which makes it a very fun and educational experience.”

Steed said, “It gives you a lot of time to spend with a lot of cool kids from our school and other schools.”

Whether coming to club meetings to participate in the debate or just to listen to a heated discussion, Mr. Caron concludes, “What we have here is like family.”