Benefits of Forensic Activities

Speech, Debate, and Theatre

According to the National Speech & Debate Association, schools who offer programming report:

  • Increased attendance
  • Higher test scores
  • Rise in college acceptance
  • Unique benefits for at-risk students
  • Reduced drop-out rates

The Wisconsin State Legislature passed a joint resolution recognizing March 3, 2017 as National Speech and Debate Education Day, thanks to our friends at the National Speech & Debate Association (formerly National Forensic League).


“School districts can support extracurricular speech activities such as drama, speech and debate in the same way they support athletic activities. If a school can afford some of the more expensive sports teams, it can certainly field a forensic team at a fraction of the cost if they participate in the local and state contests of the WHSFA.”

Terry Falk

Board Member, Wis. Assoc. School Boards, Retired Debate Coach, Milwaukee

“Forensics is an activity that accepts all kinds of students and embraces differences and disabilities and celebrates them.”

Jennifer Kieran

Speech Coach, 2017 New Coach Award Honoree, Ellsworth HS

“Forensics is the purest form of teaching. You get to work directly with kids and help them grow throughout their high school years.”

Dr. Kay Neal

Professor, WHSFA Debate Advisor, UW-Oshkosh

"Completing the educational process through activities, students learn teamwork, fair play, self-discipline, self-confidence and how to handle competitive situations."

Dr. Karissa Niehoff

Executive Director, NFHS