Video transcript
NSW Premier's Debating Challenge 2015 - Year 11 Metropolitan Final

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Girls High School. The affirmative team from Northern Beaches Secondary College Manly is, first speaker Elesi Kougioumtzis, second speaker Taylor Rowe, third speaker Maddie Bosler, fourth speaker Tom Butler. The negative team from Sydney Girls High School is, first speaker Mouli Ghosh, second speaker Eden Blair, third speaker Sophie Jagger, fourth speaker Bronwen Kirk.

Each speaker may speak for eight minutes. There will be a warning bell at six minutes with two bells at eight minutes to indicate that the speaker's time is expired. A bell will be rung continuously if a speaker exceeds the maximum time by more than one minute. The topic for this debate is that schools should put students under video surveillance. The first affirmative speaker, Elesi Kougioumtzis, will begin the debate.

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Today, on the affirmative team, we stand for welfare and quality of education. In a public schooling system, where bullies, thieves, and other detrimental characters are faced with ultimate accountability for their actions.

We see a need for change in a schooling system where justice for victims and deterance against actions is blatantly ignored and not combated. And we believe that, in the interest of heightening the quality of learning and moving to eradicate bullying in our schools, CCTV cameras should be implemented in public schools.

Today I'll be talking about harms in the status quo and the impacts on bullies. And our second speaker will be talking about benefits to the school community and the additional benefits of the model.

So today, ladies and gentlemen, we see a precedent in our public schooling system to increase protection to all students on a number of levels. And we are going to do this by implementing CCTV surveillance cameras in public schools, primary and high school, by 2017.

The number of cameras will be relative to the school size, however will cover all public zones of the school, including playgrounds, corridors, and administration areas. Excluded is toilet areas, classrooms, and other areas where close, consistent authority figures are supervising a constant, limited number of students.

Students will be informed of the implemented cameras but not specifically where they are. The data collected through the cameras will only be accessed upon a direct complaint from a victim, bystander, or other person providing a direct third party proof of incidence, and allowing a greater sense of anonymity when investigating claims.

We feel that, during this day and age, CCTV cameras are essentially a great norm in society, and you consent to being survailled in shopping malls, when you're outside businesses, just on the street, airports, et cetera. And so we'd like to suggest, you know, that this change is not going to be a massive change to the school environment, and it's certainly going to change the dynamic of the school environment.

It's not going to be a completely unheard of thing for the students, and thus not making great change to functioning of their school but rather instill a sense of protection. Secondly, as mentioned, the footage is only accessed when suspicion of theft, vandalism, bullying, et cetera, is raised, therefore identities are not unduly compromised.

And thirdly, we'd like to suggest that even if one or two parents or children had an issue with this implicit consent, the right to privacy for these people is less important than the overall protection and prevention of unsavory incidences in schools, and thus we are happy to stand for this.

We can say that through aggressive action of introducing our model, we're going to see a limited amount of these incidences. And thus move towards a safer and greater environment for our students to be learning in, and a more positive environment for them.

So on to the harms in this status quo. Ladies and gentlemen, under our principle of protection, we identify a direct flaw in the status quo, whereby talking about the impacts of bullying to students in an effort to combat bullying is just not enough.

This is evidence in the continually increasing numbers of cases and furthermore identified physical and mental impacts on students, which flows on to detriment their quality of education and learning, and their overall quality of life. And we think that these detriments and continued unsolved problems is enough to warrant a change of the one that we propose. And so essentially, we can see in the status quo that there is an increase in bullying continually across the board.

There is a decrease in the punishment and the availability and access to punish these students because of the stigma that surrounds having to go up to a teacher and actively say, I'm being bullied by this particular student. And there's also an inability to actively prove that this incident has occurred.

And we think that the implementation of these CCTV cameras will remove the stigma of having to actively approach someone. There is now this sense of anonymity. You can be just a person who goes up and says, look, you know, can you check this out. The data is accessed and then it is either proven or disproven.

And we think that this is going to overall increase the ability for us to be combating bullying and punishing bullying and we think that the overall instability in the current status quo of how bullies are dealt with and how bullies are actively combated is just not enough. And therefore, we see a need to implement our model.

Furthermore, theft and vandalism are also explicitly rampant across many schools. These acts, of which are both also detrimental to a school environment and to students, and even harder to police and combat without direct evidence than bullying. And so, we think that our proposed model will also be able to combat this when a suspicion is raised. The same thing will occur as if someone was raised about bullying.

And so we generally think that the ineffectiveness of the current status quo to seek out offenders of all types and to therefore deter offenders of the bullying type and further all move towards a school environment that is free of these direct harms, our proposed model is the most viable switch.

So now, ladies and gentlemen, onto my second point of the positive impact within the school of decreasing the quantity of bullying. We've identified that there are two types of bullyings and they've both got different motives.

So firstly, the spontaneous and, you know, often emotionally-charged, spur-of the-moment bullies. And then the deliberate, premeditated, and targeted bullies. And we believe that this model helps decrease the bullying, the types of bullying, and also more effectively punishes bullies of both parties for their actions.

And you know, our first benefit is that of deterrence. And the presence of visible CCTV cameras and the knowledge or fear in the mind of these bullies, because we'd like to suggest that bullies do not want to get caught, so placing something in the school environment that will actively catch them is something that will act as a deterrence to them, creates both a tangible threat of accountability and also a general fear of these cameras for both types of bullies.

For the first type of bully, the spur-of-the-moment bully, most acts of violence or verbal assault are opportunistic. Because of the lack of any accountability or some emotional provocation. And the existence of cameras does two things.

So firstly, it physically limits the location and quantity of bullying. And secondly, it acts as a symbol. Be it visible or not, if of potential punishment, and this is likely to introduce a conscious consideration of consequences into the bully's mind. And that's giving them time and thought to both deter bullying and decrease the likelihood of it occurring.

Now, for deliberate bullies, the consequences are more nuanced. As we've characterized these types of bullies, normally act in this way because they crave a sense of power to compensate for their insecurities. And this same need to feel powerful is the same reason bullies choose vulnerable targets and attempt to hide their actions.

Because they are afraid of feeling powerless or accountable for their actions. And this very rationale of these bullies is likely to deter them from their bullying, because they are terrified of being found out. And this in turn will decrease the quantity of bullying and also decrease the secrecy of any types of bullying. The minority, they still do.

Now, ladies and gentlemen, the opposition will come up here and tell you that cameras leave blind spots and that this will simply push bullies to become more sneaky, or gather in the toilets to bash up these kids that they really want to bully.

But, you know, we'd like to actually suggest that this is in their worst case scenario, this scenario of human bullying. So we'd like to suggest that firstly, the teachers and executives will be aware of these blind spots and will actively target these areas. We've accounted for the majority of the school. And so now that these blind spots, the teachers and executives will be focusing on themselves, therefore preventing and limiting these in the first place.

And secondly, because of the social message that this change will send, as my second speaker will discuss, which empowers non-bullying incidents. It is more likely for the victims and bystanders to report, or complain at least, which will then introduce the investigation, receive the data that is being collected, and therefore find out if these incidences are actually occurring and move on to punish them.

And thirdly, even if these checks and balances didn't occur, the need for bullies to move into blind spots means that it is significantly harder for them to bully, and therefore, even in this worst case scenario, there will be less bullying under our proposed model. And the second main benefit of this change is that the decreased number of bullies, regardless of which type they are, they now have a greater sense of accountability, therefore greater punishment, and less chance of repeat offending.

The existence of these cameras makes any suspected act of bullying can be definitively confirmed or denied because of tangible evidence. And any extra information will improve investigative and the punishment processes. And we know this logically but also because of successfully resolved bullying instances in recent history and for these reasons, we have had to propose.

Ladies and gentlemen, the hardest part of stopping the bullying is not identifying problem students, nor is it proving a crime. The challenge schools face is in supporting all students in their environment and changing a culture in the school. It was telling when first affirmative wanted to create an environment where kids are terrified. Because we were the only side that can deal with the issue, rather than wasting thousands of dollars on useless equipment.

Ladies and gentlemen, today I will be reintegrating most of my rebuttal into my sentence substantive. And I will be talking about firstly, why kids can be trusted at school, and secondly, why we should have a focus on helping students, rather than punishing them. My second speaker will be discussing how this undermines schools' reaction, and secondly, how this encourages crime to continue.

So firstly, why can be kids be trusted at school? So, on a principle level, why do we want to create a school environment where kids can be trusted? Schools are a environment where students are supposed to be nurtured.

They're not there to commit crimes, they're not inmates to be controlled in a jail. We don't think that they should be fearful of teachers within a playground, catching them committing a crime. But rather, that they want those teaches to be caring around them.

The opposition want to talk about how CCTV is only a natural step to put in to a school because it is actually active everywhere. We don't think that because they're acting everywhere that this something that can change the schools, because this has not actually had an effect elsewhere. We think that when the opposition wanted to create a positive environment for the school, it was not through a way where we treated students like inmates.

We think that students need to feel that the school supports them. And the only way they will be comfortable enough to talk about this is when they feel they're being trusted and when they can feel that they're not being humiliated. Which can not happen when there are cameras all around the school checking what they're--

So how does this play out on a practical level? When we think firstly, children are not inherently criminals. We don't think that they largely come to school are intent on committing crimes. So secondly, we think that they already perceive a risk of getting caught. So, the others who wanted to put in cameras to prevent bullies because then bullies will become fearful of getting caught.

We think that largely school already has a certain amount of authority. The environment is filled with people who the students actually look up to. If we're going to talk up the types of bullies that the opposition want to talk about. So firstly, we've got these premeditated bullies, who have already a deliberate idea in place.

We think that when they know that these cameras are in place, they're actually just going to take their crimes elsewhere within these environments where they can not actually be monitored. And secondly, if these actions are committed just in the moment, we don't think they're suddenly going to be deterred by the omniscient presence of cameras being there if it's just happening in the heat of the moment.

We think that particularly, as schools are a place that are not associated with crime and there is an environment where learning stuff is fostered, we don't think that because there is a procedure to avoid getting caught, that students are going to be doing this anyway.

We think that there's already a large amount of human surveillance and witnesses present. So the opposition wanted to, again, talk about how this will allow us to have close, consistent authority within the schools. We think that, largely, students spend six hours-- during their six hours of their time at school, five of those hours are spent within the classroom where teachers are literally there the whole time, watching what their students are doing.

In that hour of freedom, to suddenly think that they're going to be committing crimes is a pretty big step to take. But also, should anything exciting or eventful happen in the school, that would already be filmed by every student on their iPhones. That's never going to help the crime getting solved.

I think that largely, because it's not being helpful, it is testimony to the fact that among the problems of the school, crime is not the least of them. And more of our teachers are present everywhere to deal with these types of problems and this was never what we were planning to do.

So this brings me up to my second point. Why should we have a focus on helping students rather than punishing them? So I don't think school is about expelling bad eggs. We don't think it's about uprooting the students who actually need the most support.

We think that, ultimately, when the opposition wanted to say that this is about punishing bullies and proving who the bullies are and actually holding them accountable for their actions. We think that schools actually tend to know which of the students that need support, which of the students needs to have their problem talked about. We don't think that schools should need to catch them, but rather help them with these problems.

When students feel humiliated, when they feel that they are not being trusted, and when they feel that they are being mistrusted by the school, we don't think that they will suddenly respond well to these cameras being put in place. And by not responding well, they're not going to suddenly have the incentive to go up to the teachers and tell them about all these problems that they're having.

Nor are the victims of these bullies suddenly going to feel so much more willing to actually tell these teachers when their footage is there and when they feel that they will be placed in a position vulnerable to the teacher. We think that we should use our resources to support the kids, rather than invest in expensive equipment.

We can see that some schools, crime does happen. The schools that need these sorts of solutions the most are largely the more socioeconomically disadvantaged schools, in which this thing would be a very expensive procedure. When the opposition want to say that having all these other methods are not enough, we think that these are actually working, and these two solutions are mutually exclusive.

We think that when schools are investing in having experts come in and giving drug talks to their students. When they invest in PDPHP lessons that are literally investing in textbooks and movies, educating the students about drug issues and about bullying and things like that. When teachers are going and doing courses on drugs, how to teach their students about this.

Where schools are investing in proper counseling to actually help students through with their problems, that was always going to be a more effective way of making the students feel comfortable. So in the case they did have a problem, they would be willing to talk to the teachers about them.

We were never in favor of the opposition's method of punishing the student, when we thought the best way to deal with them was helping them and thus making them feel comfortable. So we think that, when all these measures are put in place, having surveillance becomes a mutually exclusive thing.

Because once we think that surveillance is put in place, these other methods would not actually need to put into place at all. Because teachers or the school [INAUDIBLE] thing, but because surveillance is put in place, the problem is being taken care of because the students are held accountable.

We think that this is never the solution because the other methods were so much more helpful in actually tackling the culture, which was the root of these problems. And actually getting to the heart of how these problems manifested within the school, as opposed to taking some sort of weird idea of proving who the students are that are committing the crimes.

So we were always willing to preference measures which actively attempted to prevent these things from happening in the first place. Measures that were always going to help students feel comfortable within the environment and were going to make them feel comfortable in telling the teachers about their problems.

So at the end of this, because we've shown that crime is not a big important problem that the opposition made it out to be within schools, but moreover that students would never be able to respond well in a system where they feel mistrusted and they feel [INAUDIBLE] by the system. Because of this, we were never in support of schools putting in surveillance for their students. And that's why we are proud to [INAUDIBLE].

Ladies and gentlemen, today the opposition tells us that the only solution for the problem of bullying is to change the culture to make people feel safer and more supported in their school community. And then told us that bullying is not common in schools and also at the status quo does better at changing the culture by doing nothing because of a nonexistent problem.

Today, ladies and gentlemen, the opposition just told us that bullying is not something that exists in society. Maybe in a Utopian school. In reality, bullying is rife, thus increased levels of mental health issues, thus decreased willingness to go to school, thus high levels of teen suicide and self harm.

These problems, dismissed by the opposition as not important enough to warrant a change, are something we on the affirmative team will always seek to stop. Both to help the majority of students, those that do not bully, but also because only through discourse can we help bullies as well.

Today, so far, there have been two main issues. That being whether or not we have the right to make this change and whether or not this change will have any impact on bullying. So, under the first thing of our right, the opposition has come up and told us that firstly, we don't have the right because we're invading people's privacy, and secondly, we do not have the right because bullies are actually going to be further harmed under this.

So firstly, to the idea of privacy. The opposition have said that people in schools don't deserve to be treated like inmates. So firstly, we think that there is a precedent in places like malls, in private schools, in universities, for people to be under surveillance. And we don't think when we go to the mall that we're being treated like inmates. It's just something that's happening because there is a problem and this is an effective way to combat it.

Secondly, we'd like to point out again that this right is only breached when there is a direct complaint of a suspected wrongdoing. And therefore, our third point is that when there is this direct complaint, we think that there is a right to someone's privacy to be breached because student protection is more important than someone's right to privacy.

Secondly to this idea, the negative said that bullies will be further harmed under this model. Our first response is that bullying is a serious issue and people who are bullies have to be punished for this.

You have forfeited your right to not be punished by the school when you intentionally victimize someone to the extent where they don't want to be alive or they don't want to go to school. We don't think that you can do that and then still have the right to not be punished at all by the school. And so, school punishment will continue as in the status quo as being up to the school discretion for how to punish this.

So secondly, we'd like to say that once bullies are identified, they're actually more able to be helped and directed to counseling. So yes, actually, we think that offering counseling to bullies is a really good thing. But no, we should not let them off the hook, because that's just like dismissing the issue of bullying, and it's inherently harmful.

Thirdly, to this idea of whether or not it will change bullying. The opposition has said that bullying will still occur. Firstly, because opportunistic bullies are going to continue to bully because that's in their nature, whether or not they are cameras, but also because they talked about blind spots. So firstly to this idea of opportunistic bullies. We have two responses.

Firstly, we'd like to suggest that if people know that there are security cameras, they're going to have that in their brain. Be like, ooh, actually, no, maybe I shouldn't do this because I know I'm going to be caught. And secondly, even if they don't have that in their mind, they will be caught and they will be punished, and this is going to be a deterrence for the future.

So secondly, to the idea of blind spots, we have three responses. Firstly, teachers know where blind spots are and are able to pay more attention to those areas and have extra policing in those areas. Secondly, as I'm going to talk about in my case, victims and bystanders are actually further empowered to report for our model. And so this means that even if it does occur in a blind spot, it's more likely to be reported.

And thirdly, even if bullying could still happen in blind spots and go undetected, it's still less bullying than was occurring before because the majority of the school is unable to be bullied in. So that means that less bullying will occur and we think this is inherently a good thing.

So onto my first point of the benefits to the school environment and the kind of message it sends. So we can see that there are three main groups of stakeholders impacted by our model. So we have our bullies, both types, we have our victims and bystanders and the people who are completely oblivious to or uninvolved in bullying.

So each group is benefited under our model, creating a better school environment for all. So firstly, it's the idea of bullying. So as my speaker discussed, there are two types of bullying, the opportunistic bullying and the premeditated bullying.

And as she discussed, opportunistic bullies can not really exist anymore unpunished. So their bullying is kind of ineffective because they can be targeted very quickly. Because they fear authority and do not want to be caught and they act in public places on the spur of the moment. So, if they do still continue to act, they will be caught. So therefore, this type of harassment is directly combated.

Premeditative bullies, as, again, my first speaker discussed, will be caught and punished unless in a blind spot which can then be further targeted, as I discussed in my rebuttal. So, blind spots are more controlled. But also these people are prevented through this idea of accountability.

So, regardless of which type of bully they are, they now have a greater accountability and therefore greater punishment with less chance of repeat offenses. So the existence of the cameras means that any suspected act of bullying can be definitively confirmed or denied, because there's tangible evidence. And therefore, any extra information will improve investigative and punishment processes.

We know this both logically but also because of successfully resolved bullying instance in recent history have seen that recording by phone cameras enables people to directly punish and notice these bullies. This makes it easier for the school to punish bullies. So therefore, both types of bullying are rendered ineffective.

So, the next group of stakeholders are the victims and bullies. Under the model, our principle of protection is promoted within the school as it seems of concern. And it's not like the school is directly combating. So this means that victims and bystanders are made to feel important to the school and this accommodation. And the fostering of a safe environment makes them more likely to feel safe enough to report incidents within the school.

This will be encouraged by the school to in turn increase accountability. And we can see that as more incidents are reported, more individuals are held accountable and there's more promotion of safety, which leads to more of the idea of anti-bullying in school, which leads to a safer environment, which leads to more reports. And it's a cycle of an increasingly beneficial environment.

Additionally, victims feel like school is on their side. So, they have a better mentality and support from the school, which is protected to them and to help. But also, when they report, they don't have to directly interact with a bully, and this means that there's less kind of fear, and that takes away some of the bully's ability to intimidate the student because the student does not have to interact with the bully to report an incident. And therefore, that makes them feel safer and again, increases the likelihood that they will report.

So, the last group of stakeholders is the people who are uninvolved in bullying on either end. There are two main impacts on this first group. Firstly, they know that bullying is being actively combated, so they feel safer and they know that they're much less likely to be affected by that.

But secondly, because they're informed, and they know that bullying is occurring in their school and they know that it's an important issue that they need to take a stand on, it enables them to actively combat bullying because now they're aware, they're more likely to notice incidences of bullying. And they're also more likely to inform about any bullying they see, in the unlikely event that it still occurs.

So therefore, not only are these students made to feel safer, but they're empowered to further combat the issue and encouraged to by the school. So the benefit from the impacts of each of these stakeholders create a safer and more supported school environment, furthering the ability of all stakeholders to learn and feel comfortable and feel safe. And therefore, the benefit to all the stakeholders and their mentality in the school and their ability to learn.

Secondly, on to the external uses of the cameras. Not only with the model we put forth today to prevent and minimize the impact of bullying, but also to reduce the prevalence of vandalism and theft, as well as providing valuable information in the case of emergencies.

So, by placing cameras covering all public places in the schools, it would increase the likelihood that theft of student property will be caught and therefore act as a deterrent for potential thieves not to steal. Secondly, as well as reducing the prevalence of theft, the placement of CCTV cameras in schools act as a deterrent for potential vandals, both within the school body and for external vandals who damage school property. And therefore, it further benefits the school and we are proud to propose.

Ladies and gentlemen, what the affirmative team identified for us was that we already catch a lot of bullies and that when we catch them, we already put really harsh punishments on them. So the proposal by the affirmative team wasn't like a Pokemon-esque problem where we just couldn't them all.

It was that we never dealing with the root of the problem, what would cause bullying, whether or not you thought you were going to get caught. With that in mind two issue of rebuttal before, two issues of substantive. The first issue of rebuttal is about what kind of environment that we should create in a school, and the second is about how we should address issues that will always arise at schools.

So firstly, what kind of environment should we be taking at school? Because they tried to take this moral high ground and just say that they wanted to feel like they were protected and take care of students in these schools without actually showing the mechanisms by which we would make kids feel like they are being protected.

What they first told you is that CCTV cameras don't change the environment at school, that people are used to having them everywhere. And they don't pay attention to them when they're in Kohl's, so why would they pay attention to them when they're in class. Couple of responses.

There is no way that the affirmative team can have their cake and eat it too. Either the CCTV cameras are not going to be noticed, no one's going to care about them. Or they're going to act as a huge deterrent, terrifying bullies from doing things that have become part of their day-to-day lives, and stopping students from doing things that they've done every day since, plausibly, kindergarten.

So it is true that they are going to create an environment at schools where the students do not feel like their teachers trust them or that they can talk to their teachers. But rather, that the burden is on them to prove that bullying has occurred and to prove that crime's occurred.

So when they told you that perhaps students will not feel like these CCTV cameras are putting a huge pressure on them and making them feel unsafe at school. What they were actually conceding is all of the material that they relied upon about people being scared of those cameras later on.

So that clash was undermined that point. But then what we furthermore told you was that what we should be creating in schools is an environment that invested its money wisely. Because putting cameras almost everywhere except for the multiple blind spots that they were telling you about, which showed that these cameras weren't that effective, we thought that these cameras were either going to be really poor quality, or secondly, going to be a huge investment for the school. That's why it was really important that we redirected that money to things that actually stop bullying, as I'll be talking about now in my second issue of rebuttal.

So how do we address issues at school? Firstly, let's look at their process and figure out where it was that cameras were actually going to be helpful. Because firstly, we told you that it was already pretty easy to identify problems at school. Because one, we think that students are already pretty keen to report it because they don't want to continue to be bullied.

That's with especially physical crimes, which were the only crimes that they there were able to catch on camera. That's where the student is beaten up at school and there is no reason why their mom would not call up when they come home with a black eye. That's where the point of bullying is that you do it in front of a lot of witnesses so that it's embarrassing. So, everyone has already seen it and has already probably filmed it. So it was clearly not a problem with identifying those bystanders or identifying that crime in the first place.

So what did they think the problem was that they were solving? They thought the time when the camera was going to help was the punishment stage. Because it's worth noting that it wasn't about identifying crimes at all, because they still relied on the bystanders going and reporting something before they would even dare to look at the footage in the first place.

So why is it bad that they thought that they should redirect focus onto punishment? Firstly, and as I'll be talking about more in substantive, the burden should not be on victims to prove that a crime happened, because bullying is largely subjective and not something that can be caught on camera. But secondly, that ignored their mutual exclusivity that Mouli set up at first, between helping and nurturing both the bully and the victim, and punishing them.

Because when you put them an environment where they're forced to prove that a crime occurred before the school takes it seriously, that only shows you that you can not then, when the bully's only being taking into the office, because the school's intent on proving that they are a bad person, that they're are not going to respond well to any hope that they try to be given.

But moreover, we told you that that punishment hasn't worked, and that is actually what is part of a failed process. So when they told you that we were in fact the side that was doing nothing, they were only continuing a method that is being tried and failed, which is trying to weed out all of that bad students, and then we weren't exactly sure what they were going to do with them.

If it was expelling them, that was just uprooting a student who only needed the support of their friends and teachers who they'd known for a long time, and it was only passing on the problem to another school. If it was taking them out of class to talk to them, or if it was doing any other number of punishment things, which it's worth noting we could do on our side, but we just couldn't do if we had wasted all of our money on cameras that would not work.

So, with that in mind, two issues of substantive, because we've already proved that what we should be doing is creating an environment that helps deal with the crimes that occurred, and that what they were doing is not the correct way to do that. But why does that undermine the way that schools react to bullying in the first place?

Two reasons. We think it creates a focus on the wrong kind of evidence. We think that bullying is not a specific set of actions, but it's actually about how that is interpreted by a student. So it's not about how long you were being beaten up or how many bruises that you had, or it's about how you interpret the way that you've been intimidated by that person over a period of time.

Then, video evidence, especially what we think is really likely to be poor video evidence, especially since most schools can't even afford a good camera for their art department, let alone for every corner of their playground, we think that that is not an effective way to prove that bullying occurred. We think that the school is going to want to rely on evidence rather than the testimony of their victims, forcing them to prove their case in a way that's really harmful. And makes them feel like they're not being trusted.

Not only does that intimidating process make people less likely to report bullying, but it means that no one feels like they have to report bullying all. Because when they told you that bystanders would be empowered, all of that was completely contingent on the points that I've already dis-proven. But moreover, those bystanders would feel like the CCTV footage was doing exactly what they were doing, which was seeing what was going on, and felt like that they didn't need to go and speak to the teachers about that.

So that's why it creates a focus on the wrong kind of evidence and dis-empowers the students that we should be empowering. But why can this be really emotionally damaging to the students who were the victims of the bullying?

Because why they told you that you wouldn't have to interact with the bully under their side of the house, we weren't sure why we weren't going to have them talk to each other or try and have them go on to counseling under both sides of the house, or were they weren't even going to listen to both sides of the story. What we instead thought what they are doing is forcing people to watch a video that was really horrific for them, and had a really horrific memory for them.

And even if they weren't going to force children to watch that CCTV footage and tell them what was going on in that video, we thought it was still quite humiliating to think that all of the teachers and executives in your school had seen a video of you being bullied, potentially seen you cry and seen you in your most vulnerable state. That's something really intimidating for students, who should have full autonomy about how they represent what has been committed against them.

That's why it's really not empowering when you tell students that if they don't say testimony that exactly fits what your terrible CCTV camera has told you, that you dis-empower them from reporting that crime and make them feel more unsafe at school. Also, because the environment that we wanted to foster at school was not one that tried to punish students and was immediately suspicious of them for the crime that they had not yet committed.

But because we also thought that the hundreds of thousands of dollars that would have to be invested will be better invested in any kind of teaching program, in any kind of movie or book, or any kind of counseling support session that would help students and deal with bullying at the root of the crime, rather than a tried and failed method of the affirmative team, we were proud to negate.

Ladies and gentlemen, today the opposition has been particularly concerned with student welfare. They care so intensely about all students and, particularly, they care about bullies. They care about these individuals to physically assault and verbally insulted. Push kids to suicide and self harm, and they care about them so much that they believe these individuals should remain unpunished and nurtured and aided and supported by a school system, and facilitated by a school system.

Today, ladies and gentlemen, the opposition has told us that we need to change the culture by not changing anything, and they have ignored the suffering students, the majority of students, the non-bullies, who are either directly victimized by these bullies or who suffer because they are bystanders or other members within a culture of fear and insecurity which currently exists.

And particularly, they have stood by a system which facilitates bullies and gives them no capacity to change, and thus forces them into a life of bullying. And we believe this is why the opposition's stance today fails to give justice to either the non-bullies, who we in this debate believe that are more important stakeholder, and also the bullies themselves.

So, today in this debate, there have three main issues. First, this idea of a need to change, secondly, how this will affect the bullies, and thirdly, a cultural issue about how this affects the broader school environment. But firstly, I'd just like to defend our model because the opposition has had a couple of complaints about that.

So firstly, in terms if funding. We will always stand for any government funding because of the harms in the status quo. We believe that it is always OK for us to spend money on something when students are suffering and when their student welfare is suffering and when, in the long term, their quality of education is suffering as well. And we believe that any amount of money that we can allocate to resolving these problems is the right amount of money, and that we should do this in all situations.

So a couple of other questions about our model. Firstly, the opposition's question, what will happen to the bystanders. So, obviously they've gotten confused with their characterization and our characterization to bystanders. Because we've said that in the status quo, because of a culture, which is stigmatizing bullying and focuses on the victim, that people are afraid to report bullying. This is why so much bullying occurs, which the opposition doesn't recognize because it's not caught.

And we believe that under our change, we empower victims, we create discourse around the issue. And therefore, bystanders will be more willing to report because they know there's evidence, because they know there's accountability, and because they know that if they say something, something will get done. Whereas in the moment, there is uncertainty. Whereas under the opposition's characterization of how bystanders at the moment are happy to report, this mean that under our model, they would be happy to report as well.

Secondly, they've told us that this will create humiliation for students. Firstly, we never said that all the teachers will sit around the table and watch this kid get humiliated on screen. This isn't what's happening, obviously. Only senior executives including the counselor. They were looking at this and determining whether or not bullying has occurred.

And secondly, even if this did happen and they had a cinema show and there was popcorn, this is always going to be better than not having this bully brought to justice at all. It's always better to humiliate the victim and give them justice and closure than to not give them any [INAUDIBLE]

And thirdly, if cameras don't work, then why do they exist in institutions such as airports and police stations, and other crime-riddled areas. There is a precedent to suggest that CCTV cameras work at catching and deterring crime. Which leads onto this first issue of whether there's any need for change.

Now, the opposition has walked a wary stance today, where they told that that bullying is an issue, but it's being addressed by a status quo. Now, we have now three responses. Oh, and And that we have no right to treat these bullies like inmates. So three responses to this.

Firstly, that status quo does not effectively stop bullying. For a couple of reasons. Firstly, because it currently exists. We believe that if we can stop one bully from making another person suffer, then we have done something more than the status quo. And if bullying in society still exists, then we need to do more to stop it.

And we also believe that the way the bully operates is to intimidate and make the victims fearful, which dis-incintivizes them from asking for help or for reporting. Because there's not enough, avenues at the moment, there's too much uncertainty in the current system. This is why most people don't report the bullying that occurs in the moment.

Our second response is to suggest that if this is happening and if the status quo has loopholes or has [INAUDIBLE] exist, then a problem must exist and we must create change to benefit individuals and to benefit the majority of students who are suffering in a firsthand through a short-term emotional trauma or physical assault, and also in a long-time because of a detriment to their bullied education.

And we further do believe that even if the status quo doesn't have these failures and therefore no bullying exists, it would always work better in conjunction with a system which better provides accountability and judicial systems for the bully in question. The second question today is I present here the effects on bullies and whether or not they'll be happy or not under this change.

So firstly, the opposition tells us we have no right to do this for bullies. We shouldn't treat them like inmates. And secondly, they've told us that they need trust and a school system which supports them. So three responses to this.

Firstly, we're not treating them like inmates. When an individual walks down a street at night and they're not aware that there's a camera on a lamppost, that doesn't mean that they're treated like an inmate. As a society, we believe it is OK to introduce cameras to protect greater harm. This isn't presuming you're a criminal, this is preventing crime from anyone in society. And this is something in society we stand for and currently do.

We also believe that the bullies, when they have committed a wrongdoing, even if they did have this right to privacy, no longer retain this right to privacy. Because they have infringed another person's right. They have harmed another person, they infringed their right of protection, and it's the government's responsibility to uphold this individual's [INAUDIBLE] the right to protection more so than this bully's right to privacy, in the same way that we'd use Datascans on terrorists when we think they may have harmed other individuals, because privacy is always the lesser principle between the two.

And secondly, we believe that the model in fact is positive for bullies. Because what it does is it deters bullying behaviors through the visibility and also the symbol of cameras, both as a physical symbol to deter them, and also as this image in their head of something which might provide accountability.

For both types of bullies, we believe this will deter them, which therefore means that they are bullying less and therefore is benefited, according to the imposition's idea of how we need to help bullies. And further, we believe that only through accountability, that we have the responsibility and the right to punish bullies, and that only through accountability can these bullies be helped.

Because only through accountability can these bullies have discourse around the issues that affect them. Have discourse around the way, like the reasons why they bully other people. And we believe that for this reason, that under our system, bullies are actually bettered, because bullies have the capacity to talk through their issues and discuss what help they need or why they need help, and therefore prevent them from bullying other people.

So under our system, no rights of bullies are being infringed. In fact, through the process of deterrents and accountability, they are bettered, along with the majority of individuals of society in schools who no longer bully, who no longer are being bullied, significantly.

So onto this third issue of culture and whether we need a culture of support and how this will best be affected. So firstly, the opposition told us that our idea of a culture is like having our cake and eat it too. Not true. In fact, when an individual sees a camera in, like, an airport, they're not afraid unless they're carrying a bomb.

And this is because they're not afraid of being caught unless they have something to get caught about. And in this same logic, only bullies will be afraid by the presence of cameras. Only bullies will be negatively affected by the presence of cameras within their school environments. And in the long term, in fact, positively affected.

So we believe this environment of fear actually works only on the bullies. And as I've explained previously, on the bullies in a way which helps the broader community and, in fact, helps the bully themselves. Secondly, we believe that, in fact, this helps individuals who aren't actively trying to or won't try to bully other people. Because what this does is it empowers students within the community who are not bullying.

It empowers them because it creates discourse. It gives them a sense of safety and security and protection, versus what is currently an environment of fear and insecurity. So this is, in fact, better for the students that aren't bullying other students and the status quo.

And thirdly, we would suggest that even if this weren't true, and everybody were afraid. There are other external benefits of our model, such as the capacity to actually find extreme cases of crime, such as vandalism and theft. And for this reason, there's still a significant benefit to the system, which saves schools money and protects against a large-scale crime. Because the more information a system has to be able to find the crime, the greater capacity is has to then target and punish the crime itself.

So for these reasons, because the model will work, because there is a need for change, because it will actually benefit bullies, and because it will benefit the culture in schools, and individuals would not be bullying within schools, we are proud to propose.

We never thought that it was OK for the affirmative team to be so heavily reliant on video evidence that they wouldn't even trust their own students' testimony in the school. They were so scared of the fact that these students would be wrong that they wouldn't even believe, even though they had emotional and psychological trauma that couldn't be proved by things on camera that were bad quality and very expensive to implement in the first place and they were very extremely useless.

We don't think that these schools should have to implement this stuff when they could trust their students' testimony. And use this instead of using some crappy video system. Bearing that in mind, three issues in today's debate.

Firstly, what is the type of environment we want at our schools. Secondly, how should we treat the perpetrators, and thirdly, should we trust our victims in this case. To the first of these. So, we talk about what is the effect of CCTV cameras. They told you that from first that these cameras are hardly noticed in the school.

And they claim they would be scary enough to then deter from all of the bullies from perpetrating these crimes, who are also OK for them not to be put in classrooms where thievery happens and also in toilets, which they're not allowed to do anyway, but in toilets, where people could be bashed up and not proven.

So, they would like also have pointed out, that there are cameras in normal areas, such as Kohl's and outside police stations, and in other crime-riddled areas. And this is why their cameras are now okay to be put in schools. But we believe, on the negative team, that this is a school, not a drug cartel, not a crime-riddled area.

This is a place where students go to learn, and then have one hour of freedom where they can go and eat their lunch. This is not a place that needs to be heavily monitored by security cameras covering every single public area of the school, which is tens, hundreds of thousands of dollars, portraying every single area to try and not get blind spots, having extra teachers worked hard to cover the blind spots, but still allowing all this stuff to happen in the toilets and change rooms where it happens anyway.

We didn't think that this is a presumption of guilt, because this undermined their entire case. Because they've relied on deterrents by this symbol of camera that they said. But then they also wanted to tell you that they thought that it would hardly be noticed, and they wouldn't tell the students where the cameras were, they'd just tell them that they were there.

And then they went on at third and told you that they'd only be scared if you have something to hide, like if you were hiding a bomb at an airport. They aren't just evil children, anyone can be caught up in bullying. They don't think they're going to be scared of something to hide. They won't notice the cameras when they walk into the toilet, and then get caught up with them when their best friend starts bashing up someone else.

We don't think this is something, the majority of bullies aren't premeditated. People are caught up in the bullying all the time. They're not going to remember the cameras, notice the cameras regardless of this. In a sense that this type of camera patrolling is completely useless. We did, however, tell you from the bench at first that this kind of environment we wanted was one that was very open. Nurturing, welcoming.

We told you that it was better for these victims and bullies to be dealt with in a safer environment where bullies wouldn't think and victims wouldn't think that the school was against them when the victims were being made to prove their case by video evidence rather than something that they told their school in confidence. And with the bullies being thought that they're being recording everywhere they went, and so they wouldn't want to help them anyway because they already have surveillance footage flowing around [INAUDIBLE] anywhere.

So we see the end of this issue, which is, I think, the most important issue in this debate, that the environment that we want in public schools is very opening and sharing and can allow us to get to the root of the culture, which is where we can solve the problem in today's debate.

So it's the second issue about how we should treat perpetrators. What is the problem we see in the status quo? Firstly, we see something that the affirmative team wanted to tell you. That we're not identifying bullies, that we don't know who the bullies are in this case. Two responses to this. Firstly, we think that bullying is already visible. And we know that the schools have tabs on particular students who they think are possible bullies, have seen bullies done in the past, have tabs on them, doing counseling methods, stuff like that.

As we told you at first and second, there are already witnesses in most bullyings and for bullying to be effective, there is a group of people to humiliate the victim, it's filmed, as we've seen countless stories on the news where kids had dumped students onto their heads, been caught on camera, and portrayed on the news. Stuff like this taken by smart phone is enough to see that we already have witnesses.

The other problem that we want to try identify in the status quo is that there wasn't punishment. But we think that we already trust victims, and also think that it wasn't enough punishment. But they still said at second speaker that they were keeping the same punishment on our side of the house. They were just going to change the way the bullies were actually brought to their punishment. So they conceded this part of the punishment in their case.

They also said that the people don't report because of their uncertainty. So, we think that this is less likely when they have CCTV. Firstly, not only that they're not going to know how the system works, they'll think that, oh, there is already a camera. So, on the first place, they think, oh there's already going to be a camera, we don't have to report it because obviously, the school has seen it because it's on camera.

But, even if this wasn't the case, this is going to be less likely when they're on CCTV because the situation is, it still has the same things that we have today. And people aren't going to be more willing to go and report crimes as the affirmative team wanted to say.

And we'd also like to note that, in terms of punishment for these bullies, which they would concede on our side of the house anyway, expelling them doesn't work. And we think that uprooting this person who's already troubled because they were bullied and moving into a new environment is even more problematic.

So secondly, how we should use our limited funds in this area. So, they didn't want to put teachers through courses and stuff. They never wanted to allow more people to talk about bullying, allow more courses in PDHP about bullying. Even in the ways they wanted to punish [INAUDIBLE] clear.

They wanted to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on apparently high-tech equipment, which we told you at second how easy it is to avoid and how easy it is to break, so wasting this money as it is. And we wanted to increase programs to target these problems, rather than just putting high-tech equipment in corners of the school.

So, onto this third and final issue about should we trust victims. So, this question is should the burden be on them to prove their crimes. So we told you at first how we trust the kids, and we should trust these children and therefore trust their testimonies on a principle and practical level. And the response to this was that we should instead back up their case by specific video imagery and do all this.

And we told you at second how this undermines certain other kinds of bullying, and this is a harmful process and it is intimidating. It's like in a courtroom or a police interrogation room where they show you the CCTV on their camera. And this would mean people are less likely to report because they're very intimidated by this process to be coming ahead.

Yet then we wanted to prove that they wanted to make these students prove their crimes, and down the bench we told you that we should be trusting victims as well as student testimony. As well as the schools knowing who [INAUDIBLE] should do that. They shouldn't have to play back footage, as we told you at second. This doesn't necessarily mean that they're catching the bullies. There is emotional and psychological bullying which is in place as much as whispering an insult to somebody the whole way, which isn't recorded by this kind of technology.

And we think that the type of bullying, the physical bullying, that they wanted to target was going to be useless for the reasons we restated earlier, and this emotional and psychological bullying, even though it was going to be reported by a victim would be disregarded under the affirmative team's model because there wasn't enough video evidence to prove it. So, for those reasons, we are proud to negate.

Well, first and foremost, the entire panel would like to extend our congratulations to all six speakers and their team advisors, not only for progressing so far in the competition, but also for putting on what we all agree was an absolutely cracking day. So, round of applause. You've still got a year of debating to come so we can still give you feedback. So, we've got about two pieces of general feedback for we otherwise thought was a very excellent debate.

The first thing was, we thought at times that the debate was at its weakest when teams had a tendency at moments to straw man, or take not quite the version or the iteration the other team had made and rebut that version because it was a slightly easier version to rebut.

That's a tendency that's very tempting as a debater, but it's one you should resist. And so if you can the give the most fair and accurate summary of what was said to you and then rebut that particular version, that will get you further in the debate than the straw man argument will.

The second was, I think this was one of those debates where you guys, perhaps not through personal experience but has the peculiar knowledge advantage over most of the audience, in that you're more familiar with school environments, you're more familiar with the concepts of bullying. And we thought all speakers could have given us a better idea of what those relationships and interactions look like between bullies and victims.

What types of bullying are the most common in schools, how do they arise, how are they resolved. Although there was some good examples throughout the debate and some good categorizations of different types of bullies. We thought the specific characterization of those particular issues could have been better.

And the end of debate, we thought there were three issues. The first one, is it consistent with the purposes of schools to take video footages of their students. The second is how effective would CCTV be in combating bullying. And third, at what cost. Would it be worth a kind of trade off to be to come about as a consequence of implementing this particular system.

Right from the outset, they debate on that first question. Is it consistent with the purpose of the schools? If only one to anticipate some of the more obvious objections that might arise in this case, they said that the right to privacy was a limited one and it was one that was already forfeited when people went into the public sphere on a regular occasion.

We implied they consented to being videoed in a variety of circumstances. The second affirmatives pointed to more ultra private schools and universities as examples of places where that happened elsewhere. They also said that where there was a trade off between privacy and an individual's rights, we should prioritize concerns of safety, and the rights of victims in this particular circumstances over that particular right to privacy.

The negative really never really wanted make this particularly about privacy. They said instead it was inappropriate for schools to create an environment where people lived in fear rather than necessarily because that breached their students' rights. It was because it undermining the purpose of the school if you had it in a situation where people felt that they were in fear or that they're watched or they were like prisoners in some sense, they were treated like inmates.

The second speaker claimed that the affirmative couldn't have their cake and eat it too. They couldn't say that the deterrent was going to be so effective and also that no one would really notice the implementation of this particular system. We think the [INAUDIBLE] relatively effectively to say, they absolutely could have their cake and eat it too.

But it's got a nothing to hide, nothing to fear analysis. If you want to bully, the cameras will be there. You'd be pretty indifferent to the presence of cameras. And if you were a bully, you'd be fearful of them, and then to that extent, that was something that you were worried about.

On that first issue in this debate, we weren't convinced by the end that it was particularly inconsistent with the purposes of schools, or that the negative had done enough to build up this idea that their schools under the status quo would be relatively more nurturing and safe. We creating an environment of safety, they'd [INAUDIBLE] those cameras were present. So maybe it wasn't principally wrong to implement this particular model, but would it be an effective one, was it worth it?

So the second question in this debate was how effective would CCTV be in combating bullying. Right from the outset in this debate, there were a couple of clashes going on here. The first was about the degree or the scale of bullying under the problem of the status quo. The negative thought it wasn't quite as rife as the affirmative had pointed out. The affirmative were insistent that it was widespread and rampant.

[INAUDIBLE] fact or dispute was ever meaningfully resolved in the debate and we were convinced that there was some level of bullying that would vary across different types of schools. What was more meaningfully engaged with was the degree to which A, reporting of bullying would increase, and B, the extent to which the cameras could deter people.

The affirmative identified that the under-reporting of bullying is the problem in the status quo. People thought that it was stigmatized, that they would go out and they wouldn't go out on a limb in order to report something that happened to them or to their friend to the school. The negative had a couple of response to this.

The first was that for precisely the reason the way the affirmative's model had been set up, those reasons would remain in place. That if it was true that you had to go out on a limb and to school and there was some social pressure against that, that social pressure would still exist even in the CCT footage was there to back up your particular play. And that, to that extent there would still be a lack of reporting in those cases.

And we had some back and forth between the second speakers about the willingness of third parties and bystanders to go out and report. We were ultimately convinced by the negative's analysis, that the knowledge that the cameras were there meant that it could provide the same eyewitness evidence that the bystander would potentially provide. But that bystander was less likely to come forward if they knew that the camera could do the work for them and they wouldn't have to bear the social cost of how do snitches get stitches in the school environment. That they wouldn't necessarily go out and do that.

So on the question of reporting, we felt that there wasn't necessarily going to be a huge increase in reporting. On the question of deterrent, then, which was where we found they also put a lot of reliance, [INAUDIBLE] to their stronger material. They told us that there were two types of bullying, that both would be deterred by this particular model. Because people would have to think twice with the knowledge that their behavior would be caught on camera.

So, spontaneous bullies would, at least in the moment of spontaneity, consider that they were going to get caught, and those premeditated bullies would avoid the cameras at the very least, and engage their bullying elsewhere. And those other areas elsewhere would better supervised because the teacher's resources would be freed up to supervise the bathrooms and the out of bound areas.

So we thought that was fair enough material to come out for the affirmative, but again, we thought there were a couple of challenges that came out pretty effectively for the negative. The first was to say that to the extent that affirmative relied on problems that big psychological bullying made rife, and they were [INAUDIBLE] second speaker being driven close to suicide.

We thought that was a reasonable response for this negative to point out that these cameras at their best could stop only physical bullying. That they wouldn't pick up the comments that they'd whisper to each other in the streets, in the hallways of the school, and that they wouldn't necessarily be able to identify those particular individuals.

And the second layer of analysis here was that those were the kinds of crimes or bullying or instances of problems that we were already most capable of picking up in the school environment. That we had teachers supervising playgrounds at lunch time when we had fights break out. Those fights were designed to be humiliating, they were designed to have a variety of witnesses to leverage the kind of power of that social pressure.

And that, in particular, that [INAUDIBLE] sufficiently important. That if we could stop one particular case of bullying, it was worth the effort and leverage that we would put into that. Although we weren't particularly persuaded by the material on cost from the negative, we thought there was some merit to it in saying that there was a trade off here that we were engaging in. That, to the extent that schools had to engage in trade offs, they should pursue policies that were more likely to worked out causes of bullying in the first place.

Which they assert in the first negative were mutually exclusive, and that was not really a characterization that was challenged down the bench. And to the extent that they would be complacent when those cameras were in place, that it's a kind of moral hazard that they would focus more on those instances of crimes. They will wait on physical evidence [INAUDIBLE] that was material that indicated there would be some cost to [INAUDIBLE] this policy, not necessarily economic, but in terms of the other ways in which schools could [INAUDIBLE] bullying.

We were less persuaded by the negative's material, which meant that victims would be totally humiliated through this process. We thought the affirmative did well to establish that schools could do this quite delicately, they weren't going gather around the popcorn, and even if they did, that might be worth it. But that they could handle that process with a sufficient degree of delicacy that the students would not be humiliated by it.

But we were convinced that there were things that schools could do better and at the very least CCTV was not going to prevent the kinds of bullying that they found they'd most wanted to prevent. So in a very close decision, by ultimately unanimous decision, the panel awarded this debate to the negative team. And the panel were also in agreement that the [INAUDIBLE] for the best speaker [INAUDIBLE] should go to the second negative, [INAUDIBLE]

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