Adrian DeGuzman

Mr. Scofield and Ms. Newton discuss political issues during the Young Politicians teacher debate.

Adrian De Guzman, Junior Editor-in-Chief

Although the 2016 presidential election has been aberrantly engrossing, Seminole High School students became even more interested when the Young Politicians held a teacher debate between two highly regarded teachers: Mr. Jay Scofield and Ms. Dianne Newton. The debate focused on the two presidential candidates and their policies and functioned much like the actual presidential debates, with one teacher giving his or her opinion and the other allowed to rebut the previous teacher’s argument.

The event completely filled the Teaching Theatre room in Health Academy with many students sitting on the floor or standing. A poll run by the Young Politician’s twitter account reached over 140 votes at the time this article was written, showing how popular and engaging the debate had been.

Ms. Newton remarked on her initial reaction on coming into the crowded room. “The first thing I asked [when I came in] was ‘Is this the Young Politicians club, or are these people coming to watch?’ And [the Young Politicians officers] replied ‘All these people are coming to watch.’ I thought it was really impressive. [The fact] that so many people cared was awesome.”

When interviewed after the debate, Scofield expanded upon his favorite part of the debate. 

“[The student’s] enthusiasm,” Scofield said. “The fact that they were into it […] They were cheering, they were interested in politics, that’s a good thing. We need more people interested in politics.”

The topics discussed focused on a variety of issues: illegal immigration, the Islamic State, relations with Russia, and other important political issues.

After the debate, Newton said that we needed more civil and intelligent discussions similar to the one she had partaken in to discuss these important political issues.

Newton said, “In my day, we had really good political discourse. Now, if you try to say something that they disagree with, they just shut you down. Scofield and I really enjoyed [the debate]. It’s not going change my opinion, but it’s will make me a better thinker and let me see things from different angles.”

Likewise, Scofield agreed with Newton’s concern over a need for healthy discussion between contrasting opinions, but offered a slight caveat towards partisanship in America.

“I hope we don’t get to a point where we’re so involved in your side winning,” said Scofield. “We’re all on the same side, and should be on the side of what’s best for America.”

Be sure to keep an eye out for a condensed version the teachers’ opinions on the topics discussed, coming to the site soon!