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NSDA School of Excellence in Debate
2006, 2009, 2010, 2014, 2015
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Bellaire Debate Squad Policies
Participation in tournaments is not a right, it is an earned privilege that can be lost. As representatives of Bellaire
High School, one must always be a model of courtesy and honor.
In the 5th century B.C. Phaedrus said, "First appearance deceives many." This short statement has enormous
relevance to students competing in debate and forensics on the high school level. While some judges may be
familiar with your "reputation", many judges will be seeing your work for the first time. Those who do not take
care in choosing sharp professional looking outfits have already made a negative impression in the judge's mind.
On the other hand, the student who looks sharp when walking in to compete sets a positive tone with the judge.
Men are expected to wear dress shirt, tie, suit jacket, slacks, dark socks, dress shoes (no athletic shoes or sandals),
and plain white t-shirt (no print on the t shirt that tends to show through when wearing a white dress shirt).
Women should wear clothing appropriate for occasions where men are in coats and ties. Women's tops, skirts or
hemlines should not be extreme. Professionalism is the key. All students are expected to remain totally dressed in
their tournament attire until they have been eliminated from the tournament and have left the tournament building.
If a Bellaire Debater is still at the tournament, they are expected to look professional whether they are still
competing or not. Bellaire Debaters are expected to uphold a higher standard regardless of what students from
other schools may choose to do.
Upon completion of the awards assembly, the ballots are released by the tournament director. All ballots are
collected by the coaches. Ballots will be available during class on the Monday following the tournament A coach
my choose to allow a debater to view his ballots briefly at the tournament or on the way home. The debater is
expected to return that ballot so the coaches can read them prior to returning the ballots in class on Monday. Each
LD debater and CX team is responsible for writing a summary of all cases they encountered during the
tournament. These flow file sheets are due on the Monday following the tournament.
Mr. Stubbs will list people who are approved for Bellaire students to work with. If you want to work with a
person who has not been approved, you are required to meet with Mr. Stubbs before doing so. This includes
participation in summer debate camps. Bellaire debaters are better served by working with approved coaches in
approved activities than by working with people whose philosophy is in conflict with that of Bellaire Debate.
INTERNET CHAT POLICY
We find participation in debate internet chat forums to be counterproductive. Time spent engaging in chat on the
internet with debaters from other squads is time that could better be used for debate research or other homework.
Debate internet chat forums are not a place where ideas or information concerning Bellaire debate research
assignments, cases, etc should be discussed. Participation in debate internet chat forums places a debater in a
position where they are representing the Bellaire debate squad. Standards that apply to students representing our
squad at tournaments apply to debate internet chat forums as well.
TOURNAMENT TRANSPORTATION ISSUES
1. Be ready for departure. Departure times will be posted. It is the responsibility of each debater to show up at
the designated place PRIOR to departure time. Waiting for people who potentially delay the departure of those
people who showed up on time is not acceptable.
2. Make sure to arrange transportation home after the tournament. While we realize that tournaments do not
always operate on a strict time schedule, we do list an approximate return time for each tournament. Please make
sure that you either have a car at school or that your parents are available to give you a ride home. On the way
home from a tournament, the coaches will ask students to call parents (if needed for transportation) and ask for the
parents to arrive at Bellaire HS at a given time. It is very important for parents to be available to arrive at the time
requested. Coaches will not leave students alone in the Bellaire HS parking lot. If parents have not arrived on time
to pick up their student, this will mean that the coaches will have to sit in the parking lot awaiting the parents
arrival. This is inconsiderate to the coaches. Please pick up your student on time.
It is the policy of our squad that all of its members who represent Bellaire HS in debate competitions will be
enrolled in a class with one of the coaches. Important activities occur during class that are difficult (and time
consuming) to replicate for people who are not enrolled in class. It also defeats the sense of "unity" that we desire
for our squad. Students who choose not to be enrolled in a class with one of the coaches will be choosing not to
participate in debate tournaments.
HOW TO HANDLE CONFLICT
On occasion, situations arise where there is conflict between students or conflict between students or conflict
between student and coach. Regardless of the nature of the conflict, students and/or parents should contact Mr.
Stubbs as an initial step in resolving the conflict. There are several important reasons for doing this: 1) many
times the conflict is a misunderstanding or the student is "reading" something into a situation that does not exist or
was not intended to be communicated. 2) Administration is not aware of the day to day operations of any class
including debate, the classroom teacher would be the appropriate person to speak with first, and 3) the reason the
coaches are at Bellaire is to help students in the debate program reach their full potential. Even if the conflict
involves the coaches, we promise to listen to the student's (and parent's) point of view concerning the conflict.
After the student has had an opportunity to say what they want, we can engage in dialogue that is aimed at
resolving the conflict. If it is apparent that the conflict is not being resolved, the coaches will suggest that we take
the conflict to the administration for resolution. Many problems and misunderstandings can be solved "in house"
without ever involving administration. We feel very strongly that conflicts that go initially to administration (thus
bypassing the coaches) represent a "bad faith" action on the party who engages in the action.
From time to time students from Bellaire High School may participate in tournaments that require an overnight
stay. The philosophy of this program is to reward students who have been working hard and demonstrated good
leadership and behavior. Just because the tournament involves an overnight stay at a hotel does not mean that we
should lose focus of our purpose for attending. While Bellaire debaters have a history of not causing problems on
overnight tournaments, the following rules will be in force:
No tobacco, alcohol or other illegal products will be allowed on the trip.
If suspected, students will be expected to allow coaches to inspect luggage at any time during the trip.
Students are not to leave the premises of the hotel for any reason at any time.
Hotel rooms or other property are not to be damaged or vandalized in any way.
Students are to be in their assigned rooms by the time designated by the coaches.
Students are expected to have lights out shortly after the time designated by coaches.
Students are to remain in their assigned room after the time designated until wake up time the next morning.
Parents will be contacted immediately for students who are not in compliance with overnight rules.
Overnight travel is a matter of trust and is not a right. Coaches reserve the right to decide which students will
participate in overnight tournaments. Any student who feels that the overnight tournament rules are too
restrictive will not attend. Any student who is found in non-compliance with overnight tournament rules will
receive school penalties plus a penalty ranging from suspension of travel to revocation of all travel privileges.