About Speech & Debate

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Answers to some questions you might have . . . and some things we think you might like to know about the KHS Speech & Debate team:  


What is "Forensic"?

Forensic means “to give evidence” and, in this context, can be used to mean both public speaking and debating activities.

UIL is the University Interscholastic League.  It is based in Texas and is the governing body over most extracurricular activities in Texas public schools.  UIL state competition is held in Austin, Texas.

TFA stands for Texas Forensic Association.  Students earn points at each TFA tournament to qualify for TFA state in their respective events.

NFL is the National Forensic League.  It is the oldest forensic organization in the United States.  Students earn NFL points at every tournament they attend, and this reflects on the national standing of the student, the school, and our district.  Honors and awards are given out throughout the year as students become nationally recognized.

Our speech and debate team goes to approximately 12 tournaments a year. NO ONE goes to all the tournaments. Most students average less than 9 tournaments.

Most tournaments require us to travel to locations around Houston and the surrounding areas. Most tournaments are two-day trips. About 3 a year are overnight trips to places such as UIL State in Austin or TFA state in Dallas.

If you miss school for a tournament it is counted as a field trip. You are not counted as absent and your exam exemption is not affected. You are expected to make up all work you miss promptly, ahead of time if possible.

We travel by school bus or van on most trips. 

We welcome parents to participate by training and serving as judges, and by helping facilitate events in other capacities. 

Initially students are not expected to pay for entry fees or hotel bills.  However, students may be required to pay for some entry fees in the Spring semester. Students are expected to pay for their own meals. We do have fundraisers to help defray expenses, and we try to be sure all students have an opportunity to participate, no matter what their financial circumstances.

Speech practices are scheduled at the convenience of the individual students with Mr. Mason or peer coaches. Speech and Debate team practices are after school in Mr. Mason’s room.

Yes, you can earn a letter in speech, in debate, or in both.

Forensic and debate activities may be done either as an extracurricular activity or for academic credit. (The class is called Debate I and II. It carries the same credit as any other elective in the school.)

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