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Byrnes High School Wins State Ethics Bowl Championship, Heads To National Competition

byrnes ethics bowl teamYou might call it the modern day "speech and debate" competition.  Instead, it's known as the "Ethics Bowl", and six Byrnes High School students are the newly crowned "champions" of the 2022 South Carolina title.


The team, comprised of Zoe Mullins (captain), Michael Adolf, Elijah Lawson, Madi Milici, Cole Ritts, and Lillie Underwood, captured the state championship in a virtual event hosted by Wofford College earlier this month. Byrnes edged out Christ Church Episcopal School in a close match.  The Rebel team presented on a case of "Predictive Policing", speaking on the ethical consequences of using things like arrest records and crime statistics to monitor certain areas or people based on the prediction that crimes will occur in those places or by those particular people.  Advised by Byrnes AP English teacher, Susanne Cash, the Byrnes team prepares by studying a pre-determined list of true ethical cases, and the different issues that surround the sides of each case.


The National High School Ethics Bowl and regional ethics bowls, including the event at Wofford, are competitive yet collaborative events in which students discuss real-life ethical issues. In each round, teams take turns analyzing cases about complex ethical dilemmas and responding to questions and comments from the other team and from a panel of judges.  Unlike debate competitions, the ethics bowl does not "assign" students with opposing views.  Instead, teams defend whichever position they think is correct, give each other constructive criticism, and win by demonstrating that they have thought through the cases and engaged respectfully and supportively with all participants.


Following the South Carolina title, Byrnes went on to win a regional playoff against Atlantic Community High School of Del Ray Beach, FL.  Byrnes will now compete in the National finals at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill April 8-10.


Congratulations and good luck to these outstanding students!