Should WO require a public speaking class?

Will a required speech class allow students to develop or cause them to crash?

Dozeman and Ly

Will a required speech class allow students to develop or cause them to crash?

West Ottawa used to require a speech class.  Should WO resume that requirement?


Absolutely, YES

by Shylah Dozeman


Talking is not that important

A speech class can’t possibly be useful. It’s not like speaking to people is a useful skill for school and every single occupation. Oh wait, it is. 

  Speaking in front of a class for two minutes for a grade should be a piece of cake considering the hours teenagers spend face timing their friends. 

  Success in life depends on speaking to others. Those who struggle with speaking to adults could only benefit because if they can speak in front of twenty or more students, they should have no problem talking to one adult. But how dare the school ask students to use their voice for a few minutes, that’s just cruel. 

    Required speech class was cut nearly twenty years ago, probably from the same people who say, “Back in my day, we took a train to Chicago for a weekend and bargained our whole way there, but kids have too much on their plates today. We can’t expect them to ask someone at Best Buy to help  find a video game.” No grandma, we can’t, because you decided your children were growing up too fast, you cut their speech class so you can help them order their food until they graduate high school. 

   Nevertheless, people skills are essential. We can’t run away and cry each time we’re faced with social interaction. A speech class is a learning experience that may be difficult, which only goes to show how important the course is for some people. If it makes the yoga moms feel better, yes, we can give out participation trophies. 

Get over yourself

   “What if people make fun of me?” Hate to break it to you, but people are always making fun of you. The zit on your forehead, the lettuce in your teeth, your crooked part, everybody is talking about you. That’s life. 

   The whole class will have the same requirements, so people aren’t being singled out. Therefore, the only reason you would be judged is if you judge somebody else, so since everyone is on the same level it doesn’t even matter. Everybody wants equality nowadays anyway, right? 

“It’s too hard”… hard shmard

   Sure the class can be stressful, but so is every other class at this school. The amount of times teens complain about math is astronomical, but they’re not going to cut one of the “core classes.” If anything, we should be debating whether or not math is required, because last time I checked, nobody uses the Pythagorean theorem when they go to the grocery store. 

   Life’s tough. I get it, we all get it. But if the reality of hardships is too hard to handle, I guess we can just submit our younger generations into a virtual world, care-free and socially limited.

   Sike. Speak up you measly little shrimps. Well, maybe I’m being too mean. We should just tell everyone to close their eyes while walking by so they don’t see your insecurities. They won’t see you if you stay still. Or maybe we could give everyone a list of compliments to tell you so you feel better about yourself. Wouldn’t that be nice.

   But we don’t live in a bubble, this is America. The Karen at the mall isn’t going to care that your boyfriend just broke up with you, she’s still going to tell you that you’re an uneducated swine. Your boss isn’t going to ask you if you’re okay when he sees you crying in the corner, he’s going to tell you to get up and get back to work. So just deal with it. 

   We need speech classes in order to prepare kids for the social experiences. We can’t all hide away and pretend the world doesn’t exist, because it does. Should we continue to teach younger generations to cry every time a hardship comes their way and then reward them by allowing them to opt out because it’s “too” difficult.

Sorry I’m not PC

   If we keep letting these weaklings off free, then there’s nothing left to rely on. You know that saying? “Our children are our future.” Yeah, well, letting kids off easy ultimately creates a new saying: “Our children are our downfall.” It’s got a ring to it, doesn’t it?

   People wouldn’t treat teenagers like toddlers if they could just have a normal conversation with someone, and no, behind a screen doesn’t count. Writing and rewriting a text is not the same as speaking with at least a little bit of confidence. But now people are too busy people-pleasing that they’re afraid people will think they’re cocky. No wonder self-confidence levels are at an all-time low.

   One semester of a speech class isn’t going to kill anyone. It’s not like gym is optional for nerds, they still have to “suffer” for a few months. It’s a useful skill for anybody, especially the whiners that are trying to get rid of the course.

   Ah, good old cancel culture. The First Amendment gives us our right to speech, so use it! Stop complaining and just deal. What can you make from a world of voiceless wimps? Trick question, because the answer’s absolutely nothing.

Use it to your advantage

   If all else fails, maybe students would take the class if they knew it helps them connect with their audience. Figuring out the different words and tones to use when talking to parents, adults, and peers can help anyone get what they want. 

   Who knows, they might actually be able to feed their crippling vape addiction with their completely obvious fake ID if they schmooze the highly-educated gas station attendant. A class that truly has a real-life application. 


Required speech class? NO WAY

by Raighen Ly


Pile on the pain, we really need more of that . . .

Oh great! Another required course to stress students out unnecessarily. As if mental illness wasn’t prominent enough in our youth. Do we really need another course to push kids past their limits?

   It’s not like one in six high school students create a suicide plan. Or one in three high school students experience serious depressive states, totally not true, the CDC must be making up those statistics, yeah, right.

   Students today face a heavy burden when it comes to school, and a required speech class only adds to the psychological strain. Students don’t deserve to carry the weight of an anxiety-inducing course at such a young age with so many negative impacts. Suicide is one of the leading deaths in teens, should we really be testing their limits?

Striving for insanity

   The idea of the speech classes is to actually put kids up in front of their classmates and let them experience extreme anxiety as they showcase their insecurities for a grade.

   There’d be one kid shaking in his boots and another blinded by the sweat pouring into his eyes. The nail biter won’t even make sense with his fingers in his mouth, chewing up his nails until nothing’s left. The nervous eye wanderer will look all around the room, trace the clock, then accidentally make actual eye contact with a living being, leaving him frozen just to be wheeled away on a dolly.

   The course would create problems like anxiety to further develop into an actual anxiety disorder. An “academic” course that gives kids disorders, how brilliant.

   Floundering like a fool. Ask and you shall receive! Asking students to plant themselves in front of a classroom and address their classmates with eloquence and stability is just downright absurd. Everyone’s insecure, and a class that exposes these insecurities is asking students to sell their insecurities away. Going, going, . . . sold! The insecurities belonging to the shy kid crying right now are sold! Sold to the entire room of people he’ll be stuck with until graduation! Hurrah, hurrah!

   Seriously, what a grand idea. Sell those insecurities to bunker ‘em down for the next four years of their life with the grueling memory of their public failure. Who thought requiring students to extort their insecurities for a grade was a good idea?

Who needs an entire class for this?

   Requiring the course is just an unnecessary burden on kids. Go ahead and pile on more “necessary” courses to drive kids to complete insanity! While we’re at it, why don’t we paint the walls white and give them isolated sleeping quarters with pill containers labeled with the days of the week?

   As a requirement for graduation, the course doesn’t make sense. Most kids aren’t going to need to stand in front of thirty, forty kids and make a fool of themselves anyway. Real careers don’t work like that.

   Maybe there’d be a presentation or two and maybe conversing with complete strangers, but that’s different. What presentation in a company or workplace or anywhere has that many people? Barely any! Presentations are quick and easy to bullet-point and don’t require the necessary conventions of effective speech giving.

   The class isn’t applicable to the majority of students. The role of speech courses is to actually teach students how to give effective speeches, but shouldn’t that be a choice, not a requirement?

   Oh, right, I forgot we don’t have rights when it comes to education, just requirements that must be adhered to. So, kids must follow through with the class if they want to graduate.

   Seriously. The implications of such a course are by far unreasonable. Weighing the good and the bad in requiring a speech course, sure a couple of kids will love the course and ace it, maybe even go on to be some acclaimed speech-giver, seriously doubt it though. What’s more? A few enthusiastic caffeine-powered try-hards might actually enjoy the course and thrive, or the majority of students suffer from the stress of the course in addition to their personal problems?

Haha such a funny joke

   The course is a joke! A mean one at that. Who doesn’t love playing puppet master? Dangling these poor kids from their elbows, belt loops, and their wobbly knees in front of their peers like shark bait. Can you smell the blood?

   Ruthless! Might as well toss the kids into the school swimming pool, chain a fifty pound weight to their chest. That’ll get ‘em!

   Eh, the more harm the better right? Let them become statistics, throw them away! To teach how to give a speech never made sense or ever proved worthwhile to these students. All we did was break their bones and slaughter their image of themselves. What’s that movie? Jaws was it? Yeah, the one with the shark killing people for sport, that’s what this is.

   If the goal in requiring a speech class is to torture kids and unreasonably stress them out, then congratulations, raise a glass to success.