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Local High School Celebrates Debate Tournament Win

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Aired 4/19/09

A North County high school debate team is celebrating its key win at San Diego County’s biggest debate tournament of the year. KPBS Reporter Ana Tintocalis has more.

The debate team at San Dieguito Academy in Encinitas took the top prize in the so-called ‘debate sweeps’ category. That means San Dieguito’s team had the most students  advance in individual competitions. Fifteen-year-old Matt Slemen helped to secure the win. He argued whether the government should provide health care. Speaking from his debate class at school, Slemen says skilled debaters sometimes have to argue against their political beliefs.   

Slemen: I am conservative and I am a republican, so I prefer to defend the capitalist side. But I have had a better success on a socialist side arguing for socialism. Even though it's against my beliefs.

A Los Angeles high school took the first place overall prize. Forty high schools participated in the event this year. Ten were from San Diego County. Ana Tintocalis, KPBS News.

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