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Fort Walton Beach High School student places 4th at National Debate Championship

The event drew 89 students from 23 counties who engaged in competitive debates on various pressing issues, including the Trump January 6th federal case, the China-Taiwan conflict, college DEI programs, and the climate emergency.
Christian Bailey, a student from Fort Walton Beach High School, secured an impressive fourth place at the 2024 National Debate Championship hosted by Incubate Debate on April 5-6 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Okaloosa County School District)

Christian Bailey, a student from Fort Walton Beach High School, secured an impressive fourth place at the 2024 National Debate Championship hosted by Incubate Debate on April 5-6 in Jacksonville, Florida.

  • The event drew 89 students from 23 counties who engaged in competitive debates on various pressing issues, including the Trump January 6th federal case, the China-Taiwan conflict, college DEI programs, and the climate emergency.

In the final round, Bailey showcased his exceptional speech and debate skills while discussing the merits of college DEI programs and the existence of a climate emergency.

“It is truly inspiring to witness the diligence and dedication of these students, who have showcased exceptional speech and debate skills while maintaining a high degree of civility and respect for differing opinions,” said Marcus Chambers, Superintendent of Okaloosa County Schools. “I extend my heartfelt congratulations to Christian and commend him for this outstanding achievement.”

Christian Bailey, a student from Fort Walton Beach High School, secured an impressive fourth place at the 2024 National Debate Championship hosted by Incubate Debate on April 5-6 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Okaloosa County School District)

Bailey’s performance was evaluated by a distinguished panel of judges, which included Bill de Blasio, the 109th Mayor of New York City; Stephen Asoli, the Director of Admissions at the University of Austin; Dr. Peter Boghossian, the Founder of the National Progress Alliance; Simon Hankinson, the Senior Fellow at the Heritage Foundation; and Clea Conner, the CEO of Open to Debate.

  • Mayor de Blasio praised Bailey’s speaking skills, calling him “one of the best speakers I’ve ever seen” and ranking him as first place on his ballot.

In addition to the accolades, Bailey received a $500 financial reward for his exceptional performance. His coach, Katrina Brownsberger, the Debate Teacher at Fort Walton Beach High School, received a matching amount for her efforts.

James Fishback, Incubate Debate’s president and founder, described the championship tournament as “our best tournament yet. These students, these rounds, were everything debate should be: civil, unbiased, and intellectually challenging. I could not be prouder of these exceptional students.”

3 Responses

    1. The fact that you feel the need to voice that opinion on this public site says a lot about you, Sir. Maybe it’s YOU that could benefit from learning some civility from this young man? Just a thought. Have a wonderful day.

      1. That’s the problem with the far right. They never address the issue but attack the speaker on a personal basis. Have a wonderful day.

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