RBES holds Boston Tea Party Debate

By Janis Renninger
Robinson Barracks Elementary School Public Affairs Office

Students of Robinson Barracks Elementary School (RBES) discover, there are always two sides to the story.

Was the Boston Tea Party an act of terror or an act of civil disobedience? How did people in the past react to major forces of change? These were the driving question behind the recent debate between the Loyalists and the Patriots at RBES.

The fourth and fifth grade gifted education and Read 180 students participated in a lively debate about the Boston Tea Party, April 18.  Their teacher, Betty Roberts facilitated the event. Roberts is a proponent of challenging students to explore historical topics with a depth that promotes critical analysis and creativity.

After reviewing the rules of debates and giving an overview of the story behind the Boston Tea Party, the students brought the major events that led to the American Revolution to life. The moderators of the debate, George Washington and General Cornwallis, listened to the arguments and rebuttals of the Loyalists and the Patriots, otherwise known as the Sons of Liberty. Each presenter was given 3-5 minutes to present their arguments and points of view.

Many topics that are even relevant today were discussed including funding defense, tax rates, and taxation without representation. The debate was backed up with technology helping the audience visualize the important aspects of the debate.

The presenters and the audience members not only learned more information about the events leading up to the Boston Tea Party, which eventually led to the American Revolution, but also were challenged to consider that there are always many different perspectives to consider when learning about our past.

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