CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- On Jan. 7-8, 2011, Myers Park High School will host the 38th annual Laird Lewis Invitational Speech and Debate Tournament, the largest speech and debate competition in the southeastern United States.
This year will be the tournament's biggest yet, attracting nearly 900 students from 60 schools and seventeen states, including Florida, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio, Texas, Washington, and California.
In recent years, the Invitational has quickly risen to become one of the most popular tournaments in the nation, offering 12 areas of challenging forensic competition.
Students at the tournament will be competing for bids to attend the National Tournament of Champions, as well as the prestige of taking home one of the tournament's awards.
New this year, the final round of Public Forum Debate will be open to the public, at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 8 in the Myers Park High School Auditorium. Admission and parking will be free. Doors will open at 4:30 p.m. and close promptly at 5 p.m. The topic of debate is the impact of plea bargaining on the justice system. Once the round starts spectators will not be able to come in.
On Jan. 9, Myers Park will also host the fourth annual PFDebate.com National Public Forum Challenge IV, a special tournament showcasing the Public Forum style of debating. For this tournament, 16 teams of two competitors each will face off in a sudden-death format, debating whether or not plea bargaining undermines the US criminal justice system.
Teams that are selected to compete will be competing for $1500 in cash scholarships from PFDebate.com.
"The speech and debate team at Myers Park High School is thrilled to be hosting this phenomenal event, and we look forward to making it even more successful than it has been in past years," says Jason Kline, Tournament Director and assistant principal at Myers Park.