“Hard-hitting questions and sensitive topics” says the description of HARDTalk, an outstanding BBC program. In hopes of inciting heated debates along with refreshing high-level English speech, we took on that slogan and raised the first fairly controversial issue in the club.
As a response to recent school shootings in the states, a bill has been passed in South Dakota which allows teachers to carry guns in school districts. A long list of questions arose when we passed around the article.
- Is it truly effective? Can a teacher, who is obviously not a highly skilled shooter, act normally in a panic situation and make use of his gun?
- Does it affect the atmosphere in schools, that is, cause fear among students or staff members? Doesn’t it stand in the way of children’s emotional development?
- Is there any other way to protect schools?
Some of the points people made were:
- Teachers may do more harm during a rampage than the shooter would do alone.
- It might come with collateral damage, but at least they have a chance to protect themselves.
- Is it the appropriate message to kids that the only answer to a shooter is to shoot back?
- If the teachers don’t tell the students about the guns directly, it won’t affect them.
- If there are a number of guns scattered in a school, the odds of misusing them increase. (Teachers with unreliable mental status, students who find out the whereabouts of the guns, etc.)
- If it is a publicly known fact that schools are armed, shooters may back off.
After all the groups had exhausted the topic, we rearranged the chairs to make it look like a debate show on TV. Two chairs were placed in the center, facing each other. There was only one person who supported the bill with no reservations, so he was chosen to be one of the debaters. Then we drew a name for the “contra” chair. First, we let them discuss the matter without being interrupted. In the end, everybody could address either of the debaters with questions.
It must have been tough to sit in the center of the room being flooded by questions, but I must say that both of them passed the test.
After disassembling the studio, we began to play Alibi.
In case you haven’t heard of the game: Two players are suspected of a crime. They have to leave the room, and make up a story as to where they were together in the time of the crime. Then, the remaining players (as police officers) interrogate both suspects. The second suspect has to stay outside, so that he cannot hear the questions. The point of the game: The two alibis have to match to a high degree. If they don’t, the suspects are arrested.
Fanni and Balázs claimed to be in a pub. They won. Zoli and I were stuck in an elevator between two floors. We could walk away, too. Nóra and Zsófi were arrested. The night at the theater seemed to hold too many contradictions. 😉 This wasn’t the last time we played Alibi.
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