FARMINGTON — A team of Mt. Blue Middle School students recently took on a Bates College team to debate whether the mayor of Gotham City should arrest Batman for his many traffic violations and other serious “crimes,” coach Kim Fast said.

The Mt. Blue debate team is in its second year and meets after school one day a week to practice parliamentary procedure and debate current issues. Topics include nuclear power, wind power, the death penalty and the blame for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, she said.

The Mt. Blue-Bates debate took place on May 21 on the Bates College campus in Lewiston. Fast said it was a lively, informed and often humorous exchange.

Before the debate, the middle-schoolers met with their older counterparts and compared notes on how and what they debate. The college debaters, named the Brooks Quimby Debate Team, gave the younger students ideas and tips on successful arguing and told them of their recent trip to Turkey for an international debate competition. The Brooks Quimby team has also been to England, Scotland and many other countries for debate tournaments, Fast added.

“I’m quite proud of these students,” Fast said. “They know parliamentary procedure and they’re very well informed on current issues. We have been to Colby College to sit in on debates before, and we did a long-distance televised debate with a middle school team from New Jersey recently. I’m especially pleased that our students can now see that debate can take them all over the world.”

There were three reasons Fast contacted the Bates team:

• The Middle School team had been to Colby College twice and she wanted them to have the additional experience with a team that competes in international tournaments.

• She also wanted them to realize that debate can take them places.

• Her father was on the Bates team and there is a debate scholarship there with his name on it, she said.

Unfortunately, there are no other middle school debate teams in the area and very few in the state for her students to debate, she said.

“We usually divide up amongst ourselves and argue about everything under the sun. We are hoping to have a debate in the near future and invite the public, so stay tuned,” she said.

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