In Class AP Government Debates


Rylie West

Troy Pourchot with a debate topic

Rylie West, Journalist

Many Seniors decided this year to take the AP Government class we have here on campus. There are three AP Government teachers on campus, Troy Pourchot, Sean Robinson, and Victor Ruelas. Last year, these teachers emphasized the importance of taking AP Gov by holding information sessions during office hours and by visiting 11th grade history classes. Much of the talk around school has been about the in-class debates that each of these classes have and the impact of these debates. I personally have Pourchot and we have debates about current topics that affect our nation, each and every day. Participating in the debates have opened my eyes to hearing my peers’ views on specific topics.

I got the chance to ask Pourchot a couple of questions about why he holds in class debates and what are some of the positive and negative aspects of having these debates. He said, “I want to empower students to express what they believe and I want to provide them the avenue to do that and the environment to do that as well.” Mr. Pourchot decided to start with the negative aspect of in class debates first then move to positive, stating, “I think sometimes it increases to the polarization on campus of beliefs. A positive thing is that I have seen students feel empowered by speaking up, so to give them that empowerment and providing them the opportunity is really exciting.”

Rylie West
Pourchot’s classroom number

 I also asked senior Abhijit Singh, an AP Government student, if he enjoys the debates and what are some of the topics he is looking forward to. Here is what he said: “Pourchot’s discussions are great for anyone looking to offer their view on contemporary issues, just like the discussions we had today on climate change and illegal immigration. I’m one of those people that enjoy listening to and delivering their two cents on politics and current events, especially because I feel that high schoolers assume the opinion given to them by their friends on social media or their parents at home without really understanding the complexity and weight of the opinion. Most recently, I’ve shared my opinion on illegal immigration, climate change, and the women’s draft (or the lack of one).” He also stated that “going forward, I’d really like to talk about issues that other people sincerely have strong opinions on so that everyone can come out better educated on the matter. These include gun control, the education system, abortion, and all other affairs that alarm the masses.” 


If you are an AP Government student like Abhijit Singh or myself, respond in the comments with some topics that you would like to discuss in your class. If you are not currently in AP Gov or are thinking about taking it next year, feel free to talk to a peer who is in the class or comment any questions that you have!