Schools Debate Triumph for Antrim Students

Students from Antrim Grammar were proudly presented with Women’s Aid ABCLN and PSNI Schools Debating Shield 2019 after defeating an opposing team from Ballyclare High in a debate on consent within relationships. 

Women’s Aid ABCLN organise the debate in partnership with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and sponsors Triangle Housing. Now in its third year, the competiton aims to engage local schools around the issue of domestic violence. 

This year the debate focused on consent and public perception of where responsibility lies, with the schools debating the motion “The responsibility of consent within a relationship lies with one person to either resist or accept.”

Over 100 students and invited guests includingThe Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Paul Michael, Councillor Noreen McClelland and PSNI DC Inspector David McBurney heard compelling arguments from both schools before the adjudicators finally declared Antrim Grammar the winners.

Presenting the shield, Chris Alexander, Chief Executive of Triangle Housing said: “I would like to congratulate both schools on their performance. It is clear all the students have put a lot of hard work and preparation into the debate.”

Women’s Aid ABCLN Ambassador and fellow judge, Councillor Noreen McClelland said “Events like this schools’ debate help to raise awareness of the domestic violence and enable young people to have their voices heard. The issue of consent is very important and it is encouraging to see our young people openly informing discussion with their peers.”

“The Women’s Aid and PSNI school debate has gone from strength to strength and we are very grateful for the support we receive from local schools, students, PSNI and sponsors Triangle Housing. I would like to thank members of the judging panel for their participation. We look forward to working in continued partnership with everyone involved.”


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