460 Intriguing Debate Topics for High School and Middle School Students

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It seems that nowadays, everything is open to debate. In the era of mostly uncensored social media reign, it has become easy to express opinions on any topic you may come across on your Facebook or Instagram feed.

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Teenagers may find it hard to agree with this statement. Finding themselves on the crossroad between childhood and maturity, high school and middle-school students want to be heard on a series of relevant topics. However, they often feel adults undermine their attempts to express their views when they are not taken seriously. The perfect way for teenagers to develop critical thinking, learn to use relevant arguments in discussions, and boost self-esteem is to join their school debate teams. Not only will they develop valuable social skills through debating, but teenagers may also increase their chances to enroll at prestigious US universities, according to the National Speech & Debate Association statistic.

While you can find an extensive list of general debate topics in our separate article, here we will focus on the teenage population, high school, and middle-school students, listing debate topics teens may find the most intriguing.

Let’s start with listing general debate questions that tackle issues which may affect their everyday life. For this reason, teenagers may find these topics interesting enough to form and express their opinions about it.

General Debate Topics for Grades 6 to 8

General Debate Topics for Grades 6 to 8

The following list of topics will provide an insight into the broad range of different questions middle-school students may be eager to discuss. Apart from school-related topics that directly affect their everyday life, middle-school students are also interested in discussing various topics related to technology, health, or politics, provided that debate questions are age-appropriate. Many middle-school debate topics may also be regarded as controversial, tackling race, religion, or other sensitive questions. These will be addressed in a separate article.

  1. All students should have daily chores.
  2. Every home should have a pet.
  3. Every student should play a musical instrument.
  4. Homework should be banned.
  5. School uniforms should be required.
  6. Year-round education is better for students.
  7. Children should not be allowed to drink soda.
  8. PE should be required for all students throughout middle- and high school.
  9. All students should be required to volunteer in the community.
  10. The Internet should be banned from schools.
  11. Junk food should be banned from schools.
  12. All students should learn a foreign language in middle school.
  13. All students should take a cooking class.
  14. All students should take a shop or practical arts class.
  15. All students should take a performing arts class.
  16. All students should learn sewing.
  17. All museums should be free to the public.
  18. Students should be held legally responsible for bullying in schools.
  19. Children under 14 should not be allowed on social media sites.
  20. Prayer of any form should be prohibited in schools.
  21. Statewide tests should be abolished.
  22. Solar energy should replace all traditional forms of energy.
  23. Zoos should be abolished.
  24. Science fiction is the best form of fiction.
  25. Macs are better than PCs.
  26. Androids are better than iPhones.
  27. Democracy is the best form of government.
  28. America should have a king and not a president.
  29. All citizens should be required to vote.
  30. The death penalty is an appropriate penalty for certain crimes.
  31. Students should never be forced to repeat a year at school.
  32. Grades should be abolished.
  33. All individuals should pay the same tax rate.
  34. Teachers should be replaced by computers.
  35. Students should be allowed to skip grades in school.
  36. The voting age should be lowered.
  37. Individuals who illegally share music online should be put in jail.
  38. Video games are too violent.
  39. Students should be required to learn about poetry.
  40. History is an important subject in school.
  41. Students should not be required to show their work in math.
  42. Students should not be graded on their handwriting.
  43. America should give more money to other countries.
  44. Every home should have a robot.
  45. The government should provide wireless service for everyone.
  46. Recycling should be required.
  47. Children should not watch television on school nights.
  48. Performance-enhancing drugs should be allowed in sports.
  49. Education is the key to future success.

General Debate Topics for Grades 9 to 12

General Debate Topics for Grades 9 to 12

As expected, high school debates will take discussions to the advanced level, presenting students with an array of burning issues that are often the public’s focus. This list aimed at high school students will require in-depth research and argumentation, trying to provide answers to the questions of interest for this age group. Simultaneously, high school students will have the opportunity to tackle more controversial general topics. This said, the list can also be a useful resource for advanced middle-school debates. Let’s see what debate topics may draw the attention of the US high school population:

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  1. Should laptops be allowed in classrooms?
  2. Should students use cell phones during classes?
  3. Should schools provide daycare services for students who have children?
  4. Does a school uniform make learning more effective at school?
  5. Should high school grading systems be improved?
  6. Does detention do much good in high schools?
  7. Should school attendance be voluntary in high school?
  8. Should education be entirely privatized?
  9. Are private schools better than public ones?
  10. Should school buses have an option of assigned seats? 
  11. Should high school students not be allowed to use cellphones in school?
  12. How does global warming impact humanity?
  13. What are the causes of increasing racism in the United States?
  14. Should marijuana be medically legal?
  15. What is the impact of social media on teenagers and high school students?
  16. What are the effects of violent cartoons on children’s mental development?
  17. Is it ethical to clone animals?
  18. Do celebrities have the leverage to get away with crimes, more than any noncelebrity?
  19. Should nuclear weapons be banned across the globe?
  20. Should police be allowed to use lethal force?
  21. Does technology intensify human communication skills?
  22. Does religion do more harm than good?

Education Debate Topics

Education Debate Topics

Educational topics are among the most intriguing ones when it comes to the teenage population. Being middle-and high school students, teenagers will be eager to share their opinions about burning topics related to teaching, grading, bullying, and other significant parts of school life they face daily. By discussing the following topics, Generation Z will offer their ideas of the educational system that will meet their interests and needs best, keeping up with the technological development.

Various education topics will allow middle- and high school students to share different opinions related to numerous aspects and challenges of their school life.

  1. Do teachers assign too much homework?
  2. Doesyour homework help you learn?
  3. Are you really learning at school?
  4. Does class size affect productivity?
  5. Do we need a new way to teach math?
  6. What are the best ways to learn about history?
  7. What is the right amount of group work in school?
  8. How important is arts education?
  9. Do schools provide students with enough opportunities to be creative?
  10. What are the best teaching methods for getting students to behave well in class?
  11. What is the best way to deal with students who misbehave?
  12. Should schools be allowed to use corporal punishment?
  13. Should schools put tracking devices in students’ ID cards?
  14. Should middle- and high school students be drug tested?
  15. How should schools address bullying and cyberbullying?
  16. What should the punishment be for acts of cyberbullying?
  17.  Do you think a longer school calendar is a good idea?
  18. Should the dropout age be raised?
  19. When do pranks cross the line to become bullying?
  20. Would you rather attend a public or private high school?
  21. How much does it matter to you which high school you attend?
  22. Are small schools more effective than large schools?

Parenting and Family Debate Topics

Parenting and Family Debate Topics

Teenage years are turbulent, and they bring numerous changes. Wanting to build an independent personality outside family homes, teenagers demand their voices be heard and appreciated. Thus, they tend to challenge their parents’ opinions and defy decisions, wanting more freedom to make their own choices. This list of debate topics regarding family and parenting will offer the opportunity to middle- and high school students to address numerous family issues and share their points of view.

  1. How should parents discipline their children?
  2. When does discipline become child abuse?
  3. Do “shame and blame” work to change teenage behavior?
  4. Do we give children too many trophies?
  5. Are parents harming teenagers by pushing them to become achievers?
  6. Is modern culture ruining childhood?
  7. Should children be taught appropriate behavior only by parents?
  8. Are “dark” movies OK for kids?
  9. Should Halloween costumes portray only “positive images”?
  10. Are parents violating their children’s privacy when they share photos and videos of them online?
  11. Should children be allowed to compete on TV?
  12. What is the right age for children to have smartphones?
  13. Should parents limit how much time children spend on tech devices?
  14. How should parents handle a bad report card?
  15. How important are parent–teacher conferences?
  16. Who should be able to see students’ records?
  17. Would you want to be homeschooled?
  18. How important is keeping a house clean?
  19. Does keeping a messy desk make people more creative?
  20. What can older people learn from your generation?
  21. Does your generation have too much self-esteem?

Social Debate Topics

Social Debate Topics

Here is a list of topics that may provoke strong emotions and divided opinions. This is why numerous teenagers will enjoy leading fiery debates about issues from this list. As the fresh voice of the new generation, teenagers may offer a new perspective on some controversial social topics. Some of the social topics that teenagers may find interesting to discuss refer to gender equality and stereotypes, substance abuse issues, or police brutality. Through debating these often controversial issues, middle- and high school students will have the opportunity to freely share their opinions without fear of being taken for granted.

  1.  Should abortion be available to all women?
  2. Is Barbie a good role model for young girls?
  3. Should burning a national flag be treated as a criminal offense?
  4. Can censorship ever be justified?
  5. Can censorship on the Internet be justified in specific cases?
  6. Should companies be required to encourage gender equality when hiring?
  7. Drug addicts should be helped rather than punished.
  8. Should drug use be treated as a mental health issue rather than a criminal offense?
  9. Should feminism focus more on men’s rights?
  10. Should gay marriage be legalized?
  11. Should gay people be allowed to adopt children?
  12. Has the #MeToo movement gone too far?
  13. Should healthcare be free and universal?
  14. Is feminism irrelevant in the twenty-first century?
  15. Is graffiti art equally significant as classical paintings?
  16. Is privacy important?
  17. Should marijuana be legalized?
  18. Can peer pressure be a good thing?
  19. Should police be allowed to use deadly force?
  20. Should genetic engineering be legal?
  21. Should human cloning be legalized?
  22. Should insurance cover cosmetic procedures?
  23. Should smoking be banned?
  24. Do the negative effects of social media outweigh the positive ones?
  25. Should the government provide free birth control?
  26. Do the harms of patriotism outweigh the benefits?

Politics and Legislation-Related Debate Topics

Politics and Legislation-Related Debate Topics

Many may believe that debate topics related to current political issues may be overwhelming for teenage debaters because they require extensive research and strong argumentation. However, middle- and high school students may enjoy exchanging opinions about burning political issues. In reality, we are living in turbulent times with the US administration failing to face all the challenges COVID-19 has brought. There are also serious immigration and gun policy issues that may directly affect young peoples’ lives.

 For this reason, it is essential to hear the opinion of the teenage population on various political and legislation topics.

  1.  Would you spend a budget surplus to fight the COVID-19 pandemic?
  2. What local problems should mayors try to solve?
  3. Should rich people have to pay increased taxes?
  4. What is more important: our privacy or national security?
  5. Do leaders have moral obligations?
  6. Is it principled, or irresponsible, for politicians to threaten a lockdown?
  7. When is the use of military force justified?
  8. When should juvenile offenders receive life sentences?
  9. Should all police officers wear body cameras?
  10. Should convicted criminals be allowed to vote after they have served their time?
  11. How should we prevent future mass school shootings?
  12. Would you feel safer with armed guards patrolling your school?
  13. What is your attitude toward guns?
  14. Should millions of Illegal immigrants be allowed to live in the United States without fear of deportation?
  15. Are children of illegal immigrants entitled to public education?

Environmental Debate Topics

Environmental Debate Topics

Same as the topics tackling current political and legislative issues, debate questions about the environment may present an intriguing challenge to middle- and high school students. Young generations show a high level of concern for the current environmental problems. With that said, they are not afraid to take action, ask difficult questions, and seek plausible solutions to raise awareness of the dire situation our planet is in. Thus, we offer a number of exciting environmental debate topics that may appeal to teenage students.

  1. Should selective breeding of animals be prohibited?
  2. Should the government pay citizens not to cut down trees?
  3. Is climate change human-caused?
  4. Is there a universal solution to climate change?
  5. Is it better to have a real Christmas tree than a fake one?
  6. Should animals be kept in zoos?
  7. Should animals be banned in circuses?
  8. Should Antarctica be conserved or exploited?
  9. Should Antarctica be open to tourism?
  10. Should whaling be allowed?
  11. Should fish farming be banned?
  12. Should ecocide be a crime?
  13. Is pet ownership ethical?
  14. Should disposable plastic items be banned?
  15. Should lawns be replaced with edible landscapes?
  16. Should animal products be banned?
  17. Should humans be blamed for animal extinction?
  18. Are organic foods healthier and more sustainable than nonorganic foods?
  19. Does fishing threaten the makeup of the marine ecosystem?
  20. Is pedigree breeding an unethical practice?

Technology Debate Topics

Technology Debate Topics

For generations that grew up with the expansion of social media and advanced technology, it becomes natural to be widely interested in discussing technology-related topics. As technology consumes the majority of their time and creates desirable images via social media, teenagers are faced with a number of issues they will try to solve through peer-to-peer discussions. Some of the topics on this list will tackle loneliness, the impact of social media on self-image and self-esteem, and other technology-related issues important to middle- and high school students.

  1. Does technology make teenagers more alone?
  2. Does technology distract students?
  3. Do apps help teens or just waste their time?
  4. Do teenagers spend too much time on smartphones playing games?
  5. Will robots play a significant role in the future?
  6. How many text messages are too many?
  7. How can social media affect self-image and self-esteem?
  8. When should students consider deleting their social media accounts?
  9. Should students be expelled for posting inappropriate content on social media?
  10. Should people be allowed to hide their identities online?
  11. Should people trust online reviews?
  12. Are the web filters at schools too restrictive?
  13. Do teachers use technology well?
  14. Should students learn primarily by using tablets in class?
  15. Can smartphones be educational tools?
  16. Is online learning as good as face-to-face learning?
  17. How would students feel about computerized grading systems?
  18.  Is artificial intelligence a threat to humans?
  19.  Is artificial intelligence the next stage in evolution?
  20.  Can Bitcoin replace government-issued money?
  21.  Hacking: good sides vs. bad sides?

Science Debate Topics

Science Debate Topics

Numerous middle- or high school students will enjoy discussing various science topics with like-minded people. Science covers numerous issues ranging from nutrition to genetic modification and space exploration. Thus, students who are into science will have the opportunity to lead engaging and informative debates, expressing their standpoint and offering hypothetical solutions for current science-related issues like obesity, vaccines, and overpopulation and mental issues. These debates may provide an opportunity for teenagers to share their opinions on burning questions without being undermined by adults, which is often the case when they try to comment on some of these topics online. Here is a list of inspiring science debate topics for teenage students.

  1. Can aging be slowed down or reversed?
  2. Can urban upbringing change the way genes influence one’s brain?
  3.  Does socioeconomic status affect a child’s intelligence?
  4. Should people be encouraged to opt for homeopathic medicine?
  5. Is corn ethanol helpful in fighting against global warming?
  6. Should a nutrition class be included in middle- and high school curriculums?
  7. Does mental pain change one’s character?
  8. Should people be encouraged to purchase generic medicines?
  9. Should the government regulate fast-food chains?
  10. Is there life on other planets?
  11. Can mental pain be fatal?
  12. Is marijuana medicine?
  13. Should science in high school be optional?
  14. Should genetic engineering of humans be considered ethical?
  15. Can genetic modification of livestock be harmful in the long term?
  16. Are antidepressants a good solution for mental issues?
  17. Medical research should be focused on increasing the health span and not the lifespan.
  18. Evolution: a theory or a fact?
  19. Is abiogenesis falsifiable?
  20. Should trans fats be banned?
  21. Do controversies in science make it irrational?
  22. What has more side effects, herbs or modern medicines?
  23. Are humans the main cause of global warming?
  24. Human overpopulation is a threat to the planet.
  25. Are vaccines safe or risky for children?
  26. Should obesity be regarded as a disease?
  27. Should we depend on fossil fuels or renewable energy?
  28. Is botox more harmful than useful?
  29. Should steroid users be allowed to play basketball?
  30. Is there a link between poverty and poor health?
  31. Should fast food be blamed for obesity?
  32. Should there be educational programs for the use of over-the-counter medicines?
  33. How important is nutrition for health?
  34. Living water or dead water: myth or a fact?
  35. Should genetically engineered food be allowed by the government?
  36. Can vegetarianism save the Earth?
  37. Can eating meat and consuming animal-based products be morally justified?
  38. Do psychiatric disorders need a different treatment approach as compared to physical diseases?
  39. Intelligence is gained from genes and not the surroundings.
  40. Is animal experimentation justifiable with humans’ progress in medicine?
  41. Should humans be blamed for animal extinctions, or it is a part of evolution?
  42. How will the world end?
  43. Earth curvature: fact or fiction?
  44. Alternate remedies do more harm than good.
  45.  Is it possible to create the COVID-19 virus in a lab?
  46. Will humans colonize Mars in the future?
  47. Is colonization of Mars a feasible solution to overpopulation?

History-Related Debate Topics

History-Related Debate Topics

Some may say that teenagers interested in debate may not put history-related topics on their top ten list. They are right to some extent. Living in the whirlwind world of advanced technology and the Internet as the main source of information, future-oriented teenagers may find history topics outdated and irrelevant compared to an array of current issues that affect their daily life. For this reason, the debate can be a great educational method that will bring some significant history questions closer to middle- and high school students. We have compiled a list of exciting history-related debate topics that may encourage teenage students to start researching historic events and make logical connections with the present state of things.

General History Topics

  1. History is written by winners: true or false?
  2. Was colonialism harmful or beneficial to Third world countries?
  3. Do you think that Adolf Hitler’s policies were justified?
  4. Did the Soviet Union do the right thing by occupying European countries after World War II?
  5. Can Europeans say they “discovered” an inhabited area?
  6. Has the world learned its lesson from the effects of past wars and conflicts?
  7. What were the major causes of the Indo-Pak following the collapse of British India?
  8. Was Winston Churchill the greatest leader of his generation?

US History Topics

  1. The United States did the correct thing in expelling the Native Americans from areas previously belonging to white settlers: true or false?
  2.  Was President Abraham Lincoln Right to allow the southern states to leave the union peacefully?
  3.  Was the American Civil War a success or a failure?
  4.  Should the United States have stayed neutral during the world wars?
  5. Was the United States right to drop atomic bombs so quickly on Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
  6. Could World War II have been avoided?
  7.  Did President George W. Bush make a mistake when he left Sadam Husein in power in 1991?
  8. Was the United States’ occupation of the Hawaiian Islands justified?
  9. Was the US involvement in the Vietnam War justified?
  10. Should the United States consider returning the Panama Canal to Panama?

Funny Debate Topics

Funny Debate Topics

Debate doesn’t always have to revolve around serious or actual topics. Teachers can use light-hearted topics to bring some fun in debate classes and warm up the atmosphere. Besides being amusing, this debate section is always open for additions and changes. The topics do not require extensive research, and people can add a new one off the hand. This flexibility is appealing to those teenagers who tend to look on the bright side of life and avoid serious talks.

  1. Would you rather be a pirate or a ninja?
  2. McDonald’s is the best fast food restaurant. True or false?
  3. Smartphones make us stupid. Agree or disagree?
  4. Which are better pets? Cats or dogs?
  5. Would you rather be good at sports or good at tests?
  6. Math is an important subject to learn. Agree or disagree?
  7. Can you be best buds with your boss?
  8. Is social media just making it easier for people to stalk others?
  9. Kids are smarter than adults. Agree or disagree?
  10. Clowns are scary. Agree or disagree?
  11. Why is Coke better than Pepsi?
  12. Oatmeal cookies vs. Oreos.
  13. Bon Jovi vs. The Rock for president.
  14. Going out or Netflix and chill?
  15. Would you like to live forever?
  16. Children shouldn’t be allowed to have cellphones until they are over 18. Agree or disagree?
  17. Santa Claus vs. the Easter Bunny.
  18. Students should get a salary for going to school. Agree or disagree?
  19. Twilight vs. The Vampire Diaries.
  20. What pizza toppings are the best?
  21. What do women really want in a man?
  22. American Idol vs. The X Factor.
  23. Does playing video games actually increase IQ levels?
  24. Pineapple on pizza: yes or no?
  25. Best Game of Thrones character.
  26. Instagram famous vs. Twitter famous?
  27. Which is a better dessert? Cake or ice cream?
  28. Medicine vs. engineering.
  29. Boys gossip more than girls. Do you agree or disagree?
  30. Why are nursery rhymes actually quite twisted?
  31. Who are better teachers? Men or women?
  32. Does Batman make a good male role model?
  33. Should humans eat to live or live to eat?
  34. Children under 16 should be allowed to vote. Agree or disagree?
  35. Homework should be banned. Agree or disagree?
  36. What’s more important: beauty or brains?
  37. Aliens may be living among us. Agree or disagree?
  38. Are bad words bad?
  39. Summer is better than winter. Agree or disagree?
  40. No one should ever tell a lie. Agree or disagree?
  41. Would you rather be really tall or really short?
  42. Why fish make the ultimate pets
  43. Which is better? Tap water or bottled water?
  44. Would you rather be the hero or the sidekick?
  45. Rock ‘n roll music or hip-hop?
  46. Who is likely to be more successful: introverts or extroverts?
  47. Is everything fair in love and war?
  48. Is Friends sitcom better than How I Met Your Mother?
  49. What came first? The chicken or the egg?
  50. Would you prefer fifteen minutes of fame or staying behind the scenes?
  51. American accent vs. British accent.
  52. What’s more important? Being good-looking or being smart?
  53. Why homework should be abolished from the school system.
  54. Candy should be given as a reward in class. Agree or disagree?
  55. Why students should receive their letter from Hogwarts.
  56. It is important to wear a uniform at school. Agree or disagree?
  57. Humans are the most dangerous animals on the planet. Agree or disagree?
  58. Is it better to be rich with no friends or poor with many friends?
  59. Bottled water vs. regular water: what’s the fuss?
  60. Which is better: night dreaming or daydreaming?

Simple Debate Topics

Simple Debate Topics

This section comes as a logical addition to silly debate topics because it is aimed at younger students who are making the first steps in the world of debating. This list will make it easier for teachers to break the ice with new members of school debate clubs by starting with the following topics that do not require research and students can derive arguments from personal experience

  1. Should all kids over ten have a cellphone?
  2. Do you think that being an only child is better than having siblings?
  3. Should children play outside more?
  4. All schools should teach another language. Agree or disagree?
  5. Most parents are too strict.
  6. Do you think that students don’t need to learn cursive?
  7. Should the government give all kids an allowance?
  8. Should the voting age be lowered to thirteen?
  9. Should the working age be lowered to twelve?
  10. Should middle-school students be allowed to get a driver’s license?

Relationships and Gender Debate Topics

Relationships and Gender Debate Topics

Teenage years are the most formative and sensitive years, which bring an array of questions about sexual identity and relationships that are often confusing and overwhelming to young people. For this reason, middle- and high school students will eagerly engage themselves in discussions about gender and relationship issues attempting to find answers and share their opinions. Here is a list of debate questions about gender and relationships that middle- and high school students may find engaging.

 Gender-Related Topics

  1. Is the school designed more to meet boys’ needs rather than the needs of female students?
  2. Are girls under too much pressure to have “perfect” bodies?
  3. How much pressure do boys face when it comes to physical appearance?
  4. Do Photoshopped images make teenagers feel ashamed about their looks?
  5. Doctored photos: OK or not?
  6. Is It OK for men and boys to comment on women and girls on the street?
  7. Do we need innovative ways to identify gender and sexuality?
  8. What are effective ways to fight sexual violence against young women?
  9. How do you feel about girls going back to abusive partners?
  10. Why aren’t there more girls in leadership roles?
  11. Why aren’t more girls choosing to pursue careers in math and science?
  12. Should women fight on the front lines alongside men?
  13. Do you believe in gender equality?
  14. Are women better at making compromises and collaborating?
  15. Do boys have less demanding friendships than girls?
  16. Can a boy wear a skirt to school?
  17. Do parents have different hopes and standards for their sons than for their daughters?

Dating- and Sex-Related DebateTopics

  1. Should birth control pills be available to teenage girls “over the counter?”
  2. Should the “morning-after” pill be sold over the counter to people under seventeen?
  3. How should children be taught about puberty and sex?
  4. Is dating a thing of the past?
  5. Is “hookup” culture leaving your generation unhappy and unprepared for committed love relationships?
  6. Should couples live together before marriage?
  7. How should teachers and legislators deal with underaged people who “sext”?
  8. How should parents tackle the issue of Internet pornography?

Debate Topics About Books, Film, Art, and Other Media

Debate Topics About Books, Film, Art, and Other Media

Although teenagers usually use the Internet as the essential means of communication and a source of information, more than other media like literature, film, art, TV, and video games, they certainly have formed opinions regarding these media. They like to identify with others by sharing the same taste in books, films, and video games. Teenagers seem to be interested in current topics related to showbusiness, art, and the music scene. Simultaneously, young people also enjoy discussing the future of the arts and entertainment industry. Therefore, the topics from this list may be included in any middle-or high school debate and may draw the attention of numerous young debaters.

  1. Is TV becoming obsolete and outdated?
  2. Do TV shows like 16 and Pregnant promote or discourage teenage pregnancy?
  3. Does reality TV promote dangerous misconceptions and stereotypes?
  4. Will TV ever capture American diversity?
  5. Is TV too white?
  6. Why are we so interested in watching rich people on TV and in films?
  7. What makes a good TV show finale?
  8. Have TV commercials become an outdated marketing concept?
  9. What were the best films you have seen recently?
  10. Does the theater offer an extraordinary experience people can’t get when watching films or TV?
  11. How do you see the future of the music industry?
  12. Which current musicians will stand the test of time?
  13. What artists or bands are paving their way to the rock ‘n roll hall of fame?
  14. Which artists do you consider “sellouts”?
  15. Which musician, actor, or author should be a superstar but hasn’t made it yet?
  16. Who owns hip-hop?
  17. Will musical education make you more successful?
  18. Should video games be considered a sport?
  19. Should stores sell violent video games to minors?
  20. When should you feel guilty for killing zombies?
  21. Can a video game be a work of art?
  22. What game would you like to redesign?
  23. Is the gaming world sexist?
  24. Would you replace paper books with digital ones?
  25. Does reading a book leave deeper impressions than listening to one?
  26. Which writer is the next in line for the Nobel prize?
  27. Who are the characters that authors should write about?
  28. Can street art ever be valued as classical art?
  29. Why do people need art in their lives?
  30. Can pop culture be a subject of serious study?
  31. Where is the line between truth and fiction?

Debate Topics About Sports

Debate Topics About Sports

Besides books, films, and video games, sports play a significant role in the life of a teenager. Whether they are members of school teams or fervent baseball or basketball fans, middle- and high school students love discussing sports-related topics. These questions are often related to ethical or controversial issues involving players’ conduct, ethics, and even sexual orientation, For this reason, including sports topics into debate lists may be a desirable decision. In this way, students will get the chance to address some burning issues by discussing their favorite sports and athletes.

  1. Should people watch football even if it is too dangerous for players?
  2. Should parents let their children play football if it is considered to be a dangerous sport?
  3. Should college football players get a salary?
  4. Do you find it offensive when sports teams use Native American names and mascots?
  5. Are youth sports too intense?
  6. Should the rules about how coaches treat players be stricter?
  7. Should sports teams have a responsibility to hold players accountable for their personal conduct?
  8. Should athletes who have failed doping tests have to forfeit their titles and medals?
  9. Do fans put too much pressure on their favorite sports teams and athletes?
  10. Why should there always be a winner in a championship game?
  11. Should sports betting become legal across the United States?
  12. Should high schools fund wellness programs instead of sports?
  13. Has baseball lost its cool compared to other sports?
  14. Should cheerleading be regarded as a sport?
  15. How significant is the fact that anNBA player came out as gay?
  16. Would you like to have a bike-share program for your community?
  17. What is the appropriate age for climbing Mt. Everest?

Health- and Medicine-Related Topics

Health- and Medicine-Related Topics

Nourishing a healthy lifestyle seems to be among the top priorities for teenagers. They are well aware of numerous health risks they have to face daily. As a generation that deeply cares about wellness and healthy choices, middle- and high school students will be eager to discuss numerous health- and medicine-related topics regarding their lifestyle. Also, teenagers will be eager to tackle some important general medical issues and express their opinions on alternative medicines, vaccination, and public healthcare. Here is a short list of topics about health and medicine that teenage students may find exciting.

  1. Is smoking becoming a major problem among the teenage population?
  2. Do anti-smoking ads have any effect?
  3. How big is the problem of drinking and driving for teenagers?
  4. Should marijuana be legal?
  5. Should schools require students to take drug tests?
  6. Why is binge drinking so commonplace among American teenagers?
  7. Do you think a healthier school lunch program would be a lost cause?
  8. Should french fries and pizza sauce count as vegetables?
  9. Is it important to know your food comes from?
  10. Is eating meat an ethical issue?
  11. Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day?
  12. Should there be a tax on sugary drinks?
  13. Should the size of sugary drinks be limited by the government?
  14. How should schools deal with unvaccinated students?
  15. Should texting while driving be banned across the United States?
  16. Does the alternative medicine market need to be regulated the same way as the modern medicine market?
  17. What is your opinion on direct-to-consumer prescription drug commercials?
  18. The quality of generic drugs should be regulated by the state. Agree or disagree?
  19. Should society be forced to accept LGBTQ?
  20. Should online pharmacies be legal?
  21. Mandatory health insurance: yes or no?
  22. What is your opinion on single-payer healthcare? 
  23. What is your opinion on cosmetic surgery?
  24. Should doctors be allowed to promote healthcare products?
  25. Should the surrogacy option be used only if there is a health issue?
  26. Should alcohol and drug use in the movies be restricted?
  27. Is drug testing on animals unethical?
  28. Should people with mental health illness be treated outside of the community?
  29. Should the government provide free medical care to people below the poverty line?
  30. Should the government fund research of alternative medicines?
  31. Quality of treatment in public hospitals should be equal to the one in private hospitals.
  32. Should developed countries hire healthcare workers from developing countries?
  33. Should the government regulate medical and nutrition supplements?
  34. Have homeopathic medicines done more harm than good?
  35. Can we say that depression is a disease?
  36. Is it ethical for doctors to use brand names when prescribing?
  37. Is vaping less harmful than smoking?
  38. Does breastfeeding have numerous benefits compared to formula feeding?
  39. Should health organizations be funded by governments?
  40. Junk food should be taxed. Agree or disagree?

Character and Morality

Character and Morality

On their way to adulthood, teenagers are seeking answers to numerous confusing questions regarding character and morality. They are trying to build their independent identities and find a place in the fast-paced world that often sends mixed messages about what is right or wrong. Thus, debate topics related to character and morality may help the teenage population form their opinions on numerous exciting questions and find out more about their personalities

  1. Should adults learn from the teenage generation?
  2. Do younger generations have too much self-esteem?
  3. Is Generation X “post-acial’?
  4. When should you be able to drink alcohol, vote, and join the army?
  5. When you get the right to vote, will you?
  6. Can money buy happiness?
  7. Can consumerism culture make people happier?
  8. Have we lost the art of listening?
  9. Never complain, never explain. Agree or disagree?
  10. Which is more important for success: talent or hard work?
  11. How important is it to stay cool and collected?
  12. Should you ever make compromises?
  13. Are teenagers more self-absorbed than before?
  14. Everything happens for a reason. True or false?
  15. Can you control your fate?
  16. Do hardships make people stronger and lead to personal growth?
  17. Do bystanders have an obligation to intervene in problematic situations?
  18. In which cases can looting be morally justified?
  19. It is cool to be kind. Agree or disagree?

Miscellaneous Debate Topics Appropriate for Teens

Miscellaneous Debate Topics Appropriate for Teens

Teenagers nowadays are curious about the world they live in and are eager to seek ways to make things better. For this reason, many of them will enthusiastically engage themselves in discussions about various current issues. Here are some versatile topics that middle- and high school students may find appealing which didn’t fit into previous sections.

  1. Should the private lives of celebrities be off limits to the media?
  2. Do you think child stars cannot cope well with fame?
  3. Should people in the United States be aware that America is not no. 1?
  4. Is American dream just a myth?
  5. Do poor people “have it easy?”
  6. In what way does someone’s neighborhood define their social status and personality?
  7. Should charities founded in the United States focus more on America?
  8. What causes should be financed by philanthropic groups?
  9. What is your opinion on teenage “voluntourism”?
  10. Do you shop at local stores or at malls?
  11. Is Amazon becoming too powerful?
  12. Should companies collect customers’ personal information?
  13. What time should Black Friday sales start?
  14. How long is it appropriate to stay in a cafe or restaurant?
  15. Should children wear whatever they want?
  16. What are your opinions on beauty pageants for toddlers?
  17. Wearing saggy pants at school is disrespectful. Agree or disagree?
  18. Should you care about the health and safety of those who make the clothes you buy?

Need more ideas for essay topics? Check out our page that includes over 200 essay topic ideas for your next writing assignment.

Cite this article as: Jim Peterson, "460 Intriguing Debate Topics for High School and Middle School Students," in My Speech Class, April 7, 2021, https://www.myspeechclass.com/debate-topics-teens.html.