The Central Catholic class of 2013.
The Central Catholic class of 2013.

Graduation ceremonies for Central Catholic High School are set for Thursday, June 6 at the Chiles Center on the University of Portland campus. Valedictorian is Katy Segal and salutatorian is Nga Nguyen.

Central Catholic’s social studies department recently held three days of debates of state and local issues in Dan Munson and Geoff Stuckart’s government and politics classes. Debates on these issues were meant to explain the role of government in current events and to allow students to practice participating in informed and respectful conversation about controversial issues, events and ideas.  

Students researched and prepared arguments to debate whether the city of Portland should add fluoride to the drinking water, whether employers should be required to provide employees with sick leave, whether Oregon should prohibit same-sex marriage, and whether Oregon should pass stricter gun control laws. All of these issues are currently under debate in the Oregon legislature, on the May 21 ballot, or are expected to appear on the 2014 ballot.

Teachers from outside the social studies department brought their students to the debates in an effort to see how moral and religious issues play out in real life.

Nathan Patla brought his Scripture class to witness the deliberations.  

“The Bible is used in so many moral arguments, so it is nice to have a discussion where we can see specific instances where it is used," Patla said.

These debates are part of a larger effort at Central Catholic to make students more aware of the social issues faced by society. In April, students and faculty celebrated International Day and participated in a day of awareness for modern slavery and a day of silence for members of the GLBT community who have been victims of bullying.