Nogales High School Tackles Ethical Issues

Bradley Kwon, Sophomore

Last month, Nogales’ National High School Ethics Bowl team participated in a regional competition.

On February 2, 2019, the event, which was held at Chapman University, comprised of twenty-four high schools determined to earn candidacy at the state-wide competition. Nogales High School was fortunate to be a first-time participant at this meeting of the minds.

The prestigious competition mandated that each high school compete in three rounds. The teams strove to earn the score of 3-0 for each round, giving the teams the chance to be one of two team-finalists of the regional competition. For the three rounds, schools were paired to test their ethical perspectives with a panel of judges prevalent in each round to critique the teams answers.

The material included various cases that addressed ethical issues and boundaries. Some cases highlighted gerrymandering, the right to privacy and the utilization of aphrodisiacs: The cases allowed certain arguments to be proposed and countered by the opposing teams.

Nogales’ team consisted of three sophomores: Fernando Rax, Benito Gonzales and Bradley Kwon. The competitors were driven to perform exceptionally, despite their disadvantage of being first-time participants and lack of experience. Fernando Rax asserted, “There were so many things against our favor: our small team number, inexperience, and fear. Nonetheless, our mindsets were not altered in the slightest.”

Nogales’ team first competed against Arete Preparatory Academy and lost by a miniscule margin. The team members’ hopes escalated as the point-difference demonstrated their skill in the field of ethics. When asked about the team’s first round, Benito Gonzales optimistically stated: “We could have easily won that round. Our confidence, however, served as a great burden. We were so close.”

The team then lost the following two rounds to Glendora High School and Canyon Crest High School, respectively. Nogales’ team, despite their great efforts, accepted the losses as vital lessons for next year’s National High School Ethics Bowl.

The three members are hoping to recruit several new members willing to compete in next year’s challenging event. They are also seeking methods to incorporate today’s political, economic, and social issues into preparation for the competition and to spread awareness of these issues.