Competing against 330 teams, Harvard-Westlake students won second place in their first trip to the National High School Ethics Bowl at the University of North Carolina April 14-17.
Cameron Cabo ’16, Su Jin Nam ’16, Nathan Lee ’16, Jessie Pfeifer ’16, Aidan Luscinski ’17, Kat Edminston ’17 and Elly Choi ’18 researched and discussed 15 cases posing ethical dilemmas.
“It was thrilling to hear our team’s work on a national stage and meet a lot of other great students and philosophers,” said English teacher Malina Mamigonian, who coaches the team.
One of the cases that the students debated centered on ownership rights over photos posted publicly on Instagram. When given the hypothetical situation of an artist appropriating other people’s photos, the team argued that an artist should always have a right to create artwork.
Students also debated whether former prisoners’ records should be available for prospective employers when applying for a job. They considered various factors, such as the severity of the crime committed, the risk of recidivism for unemployed prisoners and the employer’s responsibilities to his or her employees or clients, before proposing a solution.
The team’s success was preceded by winning first place in both the regional and state competitions earlier this year.
“It was really cool to see us come together and be able to compete as a team in a way that we never had before, and that’s a product of the spirit of the event,” Cabo said. “We all worked together, took up our own unique roles and contributed where we could.”