All Rise, the MSMS Debate Class is Now in Session


Maliah Wilkinson

Photo from the 1990 graduating class year book

Maliah Wilkinson

Since the inaugural class of 1990, MSMS students have flocked to join the school’s debate teams or classes. The purpose of the MSMS Debate team, also known as the Mock Trial team, is to prepare the students for regional, statewide and national competitions where they will argue a legal case created by the state of Mississippi on either the side of the plaintiff or the defendant. The team was previously headed by one of the School’s founding members Claudia Carter, but now, the torch has been passed down to Scott Colom, a Columbus lawyer. This year’s class features at least twenty students with a majority having previous experience at their homeschool.

Summar McGee, a senior, participated in debate for three years: once as a witness and twice as a lawyer. “I enjoy thinking critically,” she said. “Being able to learn problem-solving skills is not only helping me advance my grade in the class but valuable life skills.” McGee also thinks the class is very intensive and has high hopes for the team to advance to nationals since more prep time is available and this year’s team is very strong.

Sam Williams is an MSMS junior who is taking debate for the first time said, “The class is nice, although the pace is a little fast and hard to keep up with.” Even though the class is hard, he still has pride in being part of the debate team.

The debate team not just receiving support from other members them but teachers and alumni. Dr. Heath Stevens, a counselor at MSMS, attended last year’s regional competition. Stevens said, “I don’t have much experience with Debate; but, I am happy I made the decision to go with the team because I like to learn new things.” Stevens learned the teams use the same case for two of the competitions and that there was acting involved and not just arguing with the judge. “One of my favorite memories from the competition was seeing Damonta Morgan and Justin Brooks,” said Stevens.

A graduate of the Class of 2013, Morgan drove from Vanderbilt to attend the team’s competition and show his support. Justin Brooks, a member of the graduating class of 2014, drove from Moorehouse to encourage last year’s team.

Stevens said, “I’m happy to see MSMS alumni encouraging their juniors by taking time out of their busy schedules to support them in the Mock Trial Competitions.”