In my debate class, I was asked to do a more difficult, more "moral" topic with my children. They are 10. And now we are debating the following: Should the Death Penalty be used as punishment for serious crimes such as murder?
They are doing very well with this. They are really grasping that there is no real answer. But I would like to share with you one of the arguments that they wrote. This was done by Sarah, who is really smart. She picks up on things really quickly, and has a unique outlook. Here’s her first go at an argument. Note that Cindy and Gina are girls in our class…
I declare that "Death Penalty"is absolutely not a good idea! If the court makes a mistake, it will be too late to save an innocent person. For example, if Cindy kills Gina but the court makes a mistake and says it was me, thenI would go to court instead of Cindy and be killed. Gina and I were innocent, so people will feel mortified by our deaths. (Actually, Gina and I would be dead so we can’t feel ) That’s not all! If Cindy was very cruel and she escaped very far, far away, perhaps the police officers couldn’t find her and after 30 years they stop looking for her! Then two innocent people would be dead (Gina and I) but the guilty person (Cindy) would not be punished! It is just like if a working person didn’t get any money but a person who just plays earns money! As well, if Cindy killed Gina by accident because she was drinking too much beer, but she eventually realized that it was a bad thing to do and she became a good person, killing her would be cruel. Anyway, the Death Penalty is not a good idea. It is a cruel way to kill an innocent person.
Remember, in Canada Sarah would be just 9 years old. Although I helped correct the grammer and verb tenses a little, words like "mortified" and the ideas contained (like the joke that Gina and Sarah couldn’t be mortified because they would be dead) were all hers. She’s a cool little kid to be teaching!