A prestigious debate team from Harvard University reportedly lost to a team of New York prison inmates in a scenario that sounds like the premise of a Terrence Howard movie high schoolers would be forced to watch on a rainy day.
The prisoner debate team was part of a program that allows inmates to take courses at Bard College, according to a report in The Guardian. They formed a debate club that has since its founding defeated both West Point and the University of Vermont.
“Students in the prison are held to the exact same standards, levels of rigor and expectation as students on Bard’s main campus,” Max Kenner, executive director of the Bard prison initiative, told the Guardian. “Those students are serious. They are not condescended to by their faculty.”
The debate itself was centered around the question: Should public schools be allowed to turn away students whose parents entered the United State illegally. The inmates, most of whom opposed such a position, were challenged to argue for it.
Spoiler alert: They won.
“There are few teams we are prouder of having lost a debate to than the phenomenally intelligent and articulate team we faced this weekend,” the Harvard team wrote in a post on Facebook. “And we are incredibly thankful to Bard and the eastern New York correctional facility for the work they do and for organizing this event.”
What gracious losers. We can’t wait to Netflix and chill the movie retelling in the future.
Matt Lee is a Web producer for Metro New York. He writes about almost everything and anything. Talk to him (or yell at him) on Twitter so he doesn’t feel lonely @mattlee2669.