This House Would Not Expel Pregnant Students


Exercise political correctness wherever you are, not only in a debate chamber. Even if it happens to contradict your chauvinistic/ misogynistic/ pessimistic/ whatever ideals. No matter how much you think that a pregnant girl is promiscuous, you shouldn’t express that opinion out loud, just because. It’s just wrong. Furthermore, the reason behind the discourse of this motion is not about “expel students when promiscuous and not expel when not promiscuous” anyway. Just like how the extent of smoking’s harm is not the main topic of discussion in This House Would Ban Smoking in Public Places, the extent of student promiscuity is not the main topic of discussion here.

Now, about geographical bias. As tempting as it may be to identify the differences in your average first-world liberal democratic countries and third-world countries especially the ones in the Middle East, bear in mind that The US, one of your prime examples of what would be a first-world liberal democratic countries, happen to be the country that embraces the idea of abstinence really tightly. Geographical bias and context would thus range around the society’s reception towards promiscuity and abstinence. For a notably significant difference, try running France versus Saudi Arabia.

But, would it matter? Yes, actually it would, in terms of addressing the arbitrary urgencies this motion might possess. However, there is this significant difference between free sex taboo and pregnancy taboo. A pregnant girl in France is very highly likely caused by failed education on contraceptives. A pregnant girl in Saudi Arabia is very highly likely caused by failed upholding in abstinence. So, not much of an issue in the end. A pregnant girl in France is as much problem to us as a pregnant girl in Saudi Arabia.

Now, expect both teams to agree that this motion aims to discuss which solution provides better education to that pregnant girl. Before any of you from Team Negative start thinking about running this argument of “please expel them preggies, because they will disrupt the learning process in the classroom and disturb other non-prego students” – don’t. Please. Let us just stop you right here and now. It’s very politically incorrect, and very assumptive. The main concern of all debaters (and adjudicators) in this motion is about that pregnant student. The interests of other students, their teachers, her parents, or their parents, or the government, whatever, they come next. Still matter, though, but – of secondary importance, they are.

Okay, that being said, let’s.. go.

Team Affirmative

  1. Because not enough justification (and jurisdiction)

We talk about the moral responsibility of schools. Educating, enlightening, nurturing, etc. etc. We also discover other cases of expelling – what were the justifications needed for that punishment? Try setting up parameters, and try to make the parameters paramount to the infraction as close as possible. One of the parameters that would make perfect sense in requiring a school to expel its students would be when the infraction(s) committed by the student hampers the credibility of the school as an institution, thus jeopardizing the identity and therefore credibility of the school, and then hampering the school’s vision and objective in delivering proper education to people (because, then, people will have a negative stigma towards all alumni of that school). Well, that’s an example for you, you should think of others. You might as well as include other justifications for various forms of punishments applied by schools for the different infractions and the varying scale of destruction they possess. Skiving can lead to detentions, for example. Higher-level infractions like vandalism or theft can call for detainment. And expelling usually happens when infractions involve some serious law-breaking activities, like drugs or assault.

Overall, burden of proof lies in proving that punishment should equal the infraction. And finally, to link back, prove how getting pregnant is not an infraction at all – or, even if it is, the infraction does not call for a measure as extreme as expelling.

  1. Because education is an inherent right and is not denied (at any, or some, circumstances).

Now, this philosophy talks about various rights and what is granted and what is removed under what different conditions. The difference between Team Affirmative Argument 1 and Team Affirmative Argument 2 over here lies in the realm of moral issues: Argument 1 focuses more on the realm within the schools (thus jurisdiction and justification), whereas Argument 2 focuses more on the realm of these students as individuals (thus talking about their inherent human rights). You could also put it this way – even if schools choose to expel these pregnant students in the end, it’s only acceptable (still immoral, though) that private schools are the only ones that perform so; and public schools cannot – because education is an inherent human right, and governments (through their institutions of public schools) have a moral responsibility to uphold basic fundamental human rights.

Team Negative, if you are reading this part, before you think of anything about creating a sub-debate involving the difference of private schools and public schools, don’t. Let us stop you right here and now. Setting up a boundary like that will put you to assume a soft stance. Not a strategic deployment of position. And, furthermore, would it matter (Is it really important to characterize that some private schools should care more about their own image rather than the well-being of their students?)?

Burden of proof for this point thus lies in discovering what the other basic human rights granted to humans are. And when they manifest. And also when they are removed. Right to live, for example, is universally accepted to manifest the moment when a baby is fully born, right out of the mother’s womb (even pro-choice-ers wouldn’t want to kill, because at this point, it’s universally accepted that this is no longer an organ, but a human being). Right to freedom of movement, for example, manifests when an individual reaches a certain of age (17 in some countries, 21 in others, no idea about the rest). Rights can also be removed sometimes. Countries that legalize death penalty remove the basic inherent human right to live the moment a certain infraction is committed. Right to freedom of expression and movement is also removed when a person gets jailed.

And finally, to link back, prove how getting pregnant is not an infraction at all – or, even if it is, the infraction does not call for a measure as extreme as expelling.

Yeah, well, we know that this sounds almost exactly like Argument 1, but, well, guess what, as a matter of fact, it is.

  1. Because we want to eradicate social stigma.

Is getting pregnant that bad of a thing, anyway?

The fault relies in the education or religion in the first place not in the individuals. So for one, this is a misdirection of blame. Second, this stigma is ridiculous just like how fat people get body-shamed nad oh for that matter this happening could also lead to the mitigation of body-shaming fat people.

Team Negative

  1. Because this student will not be able to thus study properly.

Remember that this is not about other students being unable to properly focus during lessons. This is about THAT pregnant girl not being able to cope with lessons progress properly, with all those judgmental looks and glares from her fellow classmates and gossips circulating around her.

Explain the components for an effective and efficient learning process. Explore the objectives and goals for learning processes to be considered as successful. Now, somewhere, there has to be sense of comfort within. The removal of this sense of comfort is going to seriously jeopardize the learning process for this pregnant student.

By the way, so the wording of this motion leaves a dichotomy of only two possible options, right? Team Affirmative wants her to stay, whilst Team Negative wants to expel. That means that Team Negative cannot come up with any other counter-models, right? Tell you what, you don’t need them anyway. You only have that only one option (expel) and that option is the most logical and humane course of action possible. May we ask, what counter-model(s) do you want to come up with? Special classes for pregnant students? The fact that it is still within the same school means that the judgmental looks and stares will remain there. Special schools? Congratulations, now the whole alumni of that school gets the brand and label of being promiscuous prostitutes, not to mention the humiliation included to the teachers and committees and the headmaster and whoever else involved with that school. Expelling, which thus would mean homeschooling afterwards, is the best solution there is. You don’t need any counter-model.

One last thing. One problem here. This argument will have no problem being carried out supposing that the debate takes place in a country still sticking to abstinence beliefs. But what should Team Negative do if geographical bias and context and setup is unfriendly and this debate unfortunately happens in France? Surely when everybody is promiscuous, nobody will care when a pregnant student is sitting inside a classroom studying, right?

Well, this calls for an extra layer of reasoning, as well as another burden of proof for you, to picture the psychology from within the pregnant. It is not so much as a social stigma (external influence) but more of a personal self-esteem and dignity (internal factors). Even when everybody is not judgmental, there is a certain decrease in confidence inside this pregnant students’ minds, when it is apparent and very much visible, from their stomach sizes, that they are different from their other friends.

Remember to cover that point, and this argument should run fine.

  1. Because the education quality will seriously be lackluster afterwards.

Again, just like Team Affirmative Argument 1 and Team Affirmative Argument 2. Same argument, different perspective and point of view. Same tone, different note. Team Negative Argument 1 talks about how remaining inside the classroom is detrimental because of the psychology INSIDE the pregnant, whilst this Team Negative Argument 2 is going to talk about how remaining inside the classroom is detrimental because the education from OUTSIDE the pregnant will be less effective and efficient than before.

In order to get a grasp of how to properly deliver this point, consider studying how some schools categorize, streamline, then group students with better grades together, calling them ‘plus’ classes or something. The better students get grouped together, and the lesser ones, also together. Put yourselves on the headmaster’s perspective, and you get an idea of how things are going. That might seem extreme, to some, but the key idea remains in trying to set up groups of students of as homogenous traits as possible in order to ease teaching. Too heterogeneous, and, well, you get the idea.

The rest of this argument tends to have the tendency of sounding like how you would argue on Team Negative as well in “This House Would Ban Special Needs School”.

So, anyway, you Team Negatives decide to run the argument covering the difference between public and private schools, even though we have discouraged you from doing so. What to bring now?

First, establish the span of control governments have over education institutions. They have absolute and complete control over public schools, yes, but not so much over private schools. Sure enough, governments may issue bills and policy regarding the rough guidelines over the things schools in general shouldn’t do, but this could only cover the “big” ones. Smaller schools, especially when we are talking about “home” schools sort of stuffs, are generally exempted, especially when they would not fall under the classification of being a school. That’s one for you, span of government control. Second, there is always this body autonomy. This challenge of being free to exercise the way they would like to conduct their own business activities (schools are still a form of business, and when governments dictate the way how business should operate, they become autocratic dictators) is very likely to come up from private schools. Finally, analyze how the movement of pregnant students from private schools to public schools is likely to happen under this scenario. Explore some harms, provide some examples, then link back. That’s all.

  1. Let’s suppose that this pregnancy is a form of “illness” instead?

But.. not in a negative way. Political correctness, guys. Political correctness. Always remember, political correctness.

This is going to be a little bit difficult for Team Negative to justify. The reason is because so far justifications of banning someone from entering a public sphere on grounds of disease is only when the disease is contagious. And, even so, diseases like AIDS, although contagious, still doesn’t restrict a person from entering a social setting in a public place. Because political correctness. Sigh. But, then again, yes, because AIDS only spreads through sexual intercourse, not by normal physical contact that happens in social settings.

But, rejoice! Because that justification only applies when you concern yourselves with the majority. The “healthy” ones, so to speak. You are trying to concern yourselves with the minority this time. The “sick” one.

So, your belief is restricting a sick person from venturing around randomly outside her house, because she is far better off staying at home and tending towards her wounds. That statement sounds easier to defend now, we hope.

The rest should be pretty obvious by this point: talk about the different necessities your average woman needs versus the extra necessities pregnant women will require. Talk about the difference in the amount of nutrition absorption, then about the stress (of course stress level will vary when in school and when at home), then about the mental burdens (schools have exams, tests, quizzes, etc.) and still there are plenty of others.

Provide examples, and don’t forget to link back. Good luck.

Extra Assertions:

  1. (+) Because this will decrease abortion.
  2. (-) No, this will INCREASE abortion instead!
  3. (+) Because abortion is harmful.
  4. (-) Yeah, you know what, not gonna clash you over there. Abortion is not not harmful.
  5. (+) Because pregnancy is an incentive (well, although in the form of a trauma) that will help them study harder.
  6. (-) Because the trauma from pregnancy means that they can’t study well – better fix their stuffs and settle themselves at home first.
  7. (+) Because otherwise means extra burden for rape victims.
  8. (-) Because doing THIS is the one thing that means extra burden for rape victims.
  9. (+) Because this will send a good message to other students.
  10. (-) Because this will send a bad message to other students.