Debate Team

Award-winning, leadership skill building, nationwide traveling – that describes the debate program at O’Dowd (Public Forum and Parliamentary). Every student is welcome to learn how to compete in the exciting world of debate. Be part of the team that goes to the top tournaments in the country to compete at the highest levels. O’Dowd Debate is one of the most respected and decorated programs at Bishop O’Dowd High School. The team is home to one of the nation’s best parliamentary debate squads and has won 14 titles including Yale, Stanford, and State.

Today, it is more crucial than ever that American teens develop the skills to speak powerfully and persuasively in front of an audience as well as learn to think critically, explore all sides of an issue, and formulate evidence-based points of view while appreciating and remaining open to divergent viewpoints.

Beyond the improvements in their academic performance that prepare them to excel in post-secondary venues, speech and debate students change in ways that influence every aspect of their lives. Speech and debate activities (forensics) provides them the social and academic confidence they need to emerge as critical thinking citizens who achieve educational goals, pursue meaningful work, and improve the lives of others – and our world.

View our debate program blog »

Read “The Value of Speech and Debate” »

For more information about the Speech and Debate program, email Zach Moss.

Varsity Debate
Novice Debate


Mock Trial

Mock Trial is one of the most prestigious academic activities in the nation. It teaches students critical thinking skills, effective public speaking, the ability to think on one’s feet and self-confidence – all useful tools no matter what occupation a student will pursue. More than 400 colleges and universities and over 100 law schools field 600 teams nationwide. College admissions departments give weight to mock trial participation because students are required to work for months on a single case, demonstrating commitment and perseverance, both important qualities in academic success.

For more information on mock trial, email Bonnie Sussman.

View the Mock Trial calendar »

Import into personal calendar using the iCal format »

Student Publications

The Journalism class produces the online news magazine, a Literary and Art Magazine, and the annual Yearbook. Students take the roles of editors, reporters, columnists, page/spread designers, and photographers to put together our vibrant and award-winning publications.

More details here »