On Wednesday, December 16, 6 teams from Winnipeg area high schools gathered at the University of Manitoba’s University College to compete in a series of debates on human rights.

The participating schools were, as follows:
College Pierre Elliot Trudeau
Kildonan East
Lord Selkirk
Springfield Collegiate
Miles Mac
Churchill Collegiate

marl 1:6 AThe day was marked by a heavy snowfall, so we were slow to start, yet it was exciting to see how cognitively ready each participant was to discuss these pertinent issues regardless of the lack of sun and the overall gloomy weather conditions outside.

The Topics and Questions that followed were not easy to succinctly answer; however, the competing teams worked in groups of 4-5 to offer their best responses and arguments in regards to some very difficult — albeit topical issues:

Too Young To Vote
Selecting for Deafness
Reacting to Racist Chants
Technology’s Graveyards
Reporting a Scandal
Feeding Cover Up

Transgender and Medicaid
Ban the Box

For the students, the 8 issues opened up broader arguments on identity, culture, and even, touched on aspects of the human condition.

Dr. Neil McArthur, the associate chair at the Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics, aptly opened up the Ethics Bowl with a speech that seemed to set the tone for the day.

“Ethics is a discipline where there is no right answer in advance”. –Dr N. McArthur

Marl 1:6 B

One of the panel follow up questions asked Pierre Eliot Trudeau students to define the difference between Ethics and Morals.  A PET student confidently responded, as such:

When we think of morality we think of something that is possibly from within …”, and With ethics, it is proving a point with facts, it is definitely a more logical approach.”

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After a morning of well-rounded discussions, students rejuvenated their strength at lunchtime with pizza and some light socializing. They returned to the rooms with great vigor, seemingly prepared for any issues that were to arise in the panels that followed.

In the Final Rounds, the sharp competitors raised many valuable points, however, the winner was Springfield and the runner up was College Pierre Elliot Trudeau.

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Thank you to all those who joined us for the MARL ETHICS BOWL! Keep an eye on the MARL website at marl.mb.ca to learn when the next high school ethics bowl will be taking place and to learn how you can get involved with your school and your community.