Lt. Governor Dives into Complex Issues with High School Ethics Bowl Champions

All topics were fair game for debate on Thursday, when Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib met with Washington’s 2017 High School Ethics Bowl champions.

Students from first-place finisher Seattle Academy, as well as award winners Chief Sealth High School and Rainier Beach High School, stopped by the lieutenant governor’s office to debate various ethical perspectives on a multitude of complicated subjects.

Habib was impressed by their willingness to explore tough questions, create arguments, and engage in civil discourse.

“By being this good at what you’re doing at such a young age, you can go to any law school,” said Habib.

He later joked: “But you’re on your own for medical school.”

The Washington State High School Ethics Bowl is a competition where teams analyze a series of wide-ranging ethical dilemmas involving topics such as cheating, plagiarism, peer pressure, relationships, and abuse of social media. An Ethics Bowl is similar to a debate tournament, but in Ethics Bowls teams are not required to take adversarial positions or to hold fast to an assigned perspective. Instead, students have a forum for dialogue and are judged on the quality of their analysis and the degree to which they engage in a thoughtful, civil exchange.

The award-winning teams visit Olympia for a day that includes private tours of the Washington State Supreme Court (and attendance at an oral argument session), the Legislative Building, and the Governor’s Mansion, as well as a lunch reception with Supreme Court justices.

Seattle Academy students will advance to the national High School Ethics Bowl held at UNC Chapel Hill.