Discussions

We bring you a new topic every other week to discuss with students inside your classroom and from schools around the country.

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Should Teachers Be Armed at School?

School shootings are horrible tragedies. There's no debate about that.But how to stop these shootings is an ongoing q...

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Can We Trust Social Media Influencers?

Beauty brands, clothes, shoes... whatever product, social media influencers wield serious selling power on Instagram...

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Are You an Optimist or Pessimist About Our Ability to Take on Climate Change?

Earth is getting warmer, and the temperature is predicted to continue to climb. This means things like sea level rise...

Schools
5
Responses
23
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What Should We Do to Address Microfiber Pollution?

When you hear “plastic pollution," you might picture six-pack rings wrapped around seagulls or beaches littered with...

Schools
4
Responses
382
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Should We Get Rid of the Electoral College?

Can you become President of the U.S. even if you didn't get the most votes? Yes, thanks to the Electoral College. It...

Schools
4
Responses
32
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How does the practice of gerrymandering make you feel about voting in the future?

Fair elections are at the heart of American democracy, but many people argue that politicians have been undermining t...

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Should Zoos Exist?

Zoos are great places to learn more about exotic animals. Zoos also study and protect endangered species. But, captiv...

Schools
10
Responses
93
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Should School Start Later?

Many schools have pushed back their start time to help students get more sleep. Advocates claim a later start time he...

Schools
8
Responses
249
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Would Banning Plastic Bottles Help or Hurt the Planet?

It seems obvious that using fewer plastic water bottles would be a good thing for our environment, but sometimes the...

Schools
10
Responses
135
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What Election Topics Should We Cover?

Election 2020 is just around the corner and Above the Noise is gearing up to create a series of videos designed to he...

Schools
11
Responses
387
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False Equivalence - Are There Some Issues That Don’t Merit a “Both Sides” Approach?

Good journalists almost always try to give equal voice to both sides of an issue, But there are times when doing so c...

Schools
3
Responses
148
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Disinhibition Effect: Is the Internet Making You Mean?

There is a phenomenon called the online disinhibition effect that makes it easier for us to say things online we prob...

Schools
5
Responses
128
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When is the Right Age to Start Social Media?

Everyone is on social media, even kids who are under 13 and too young to start their own accounts. Is this no big dea...

Schools
8
Responses
47
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How Much Can We Trust YouTube for Reliable Information?

Have you ever noticed that when you watch one YouTube video, it'll keep suggesting other ones that are really similar...

Schools
2
Responses
42
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How Much Should We Worry About Deep Fake Technology?

Tricksters have been faking media since Abraham Lincoln's day, but new technologies are now challenging how much we c...

Schools
1
Responses
1
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Can You Have Too Much Screen Time?

Adults often worry about kids engaging in "too much screen time." But not all screen time is created equal, so is thi...

Schools
5
Responses
106
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What Should Oakland Do About Sideshows?

What do you get when you mix car stunts, youth culture and Oakland? Sideshows! In the Bay Area, illegal sideshows div...

Schools
4
Responses
42
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What Is a Fair Amount of Homework for High School Students?

This episode was co-produced by PBS Newshour Student Reporting Labs and Youthbeat in Oakland, CA.

It can be h...

Schools
10
Responses
321
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How Should Schools Decide on Dress Codes?

School dress codes are rarely popular, but recently they have come under fire from students who say these policies ca...

Schools
15
Responses
149
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How Far Should We Go When Editing Genes?

In late 2018, a Chinese researcher revealed that he created the first ever genetically edited babies. He altered the...

Schools
17
Responses
475
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Should College Be Free?

The cost of college has spiked in the last 30 years. And the price tag isn’t dropping anytime soon, due to increased...

Schools
20
Responses
222
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What Can Schools Do to Support Mental Health and Prevent Teen Suicides?

This episode was co-produced with students from PBS Newshour Student Reporting Labs at Etiwanda High School in Rancho...

Schools
15
Responses
146
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Should Schools Suspend Suspensions?

Suspensions have some unintended consequences. They disproportionately target minorities, and some students who get s...

Schools
22
Responses
314
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What Kind of Active Shooter Drills Are Most Beneficial to Students?

This episode was co-produced with students from PBS Newshour Student Reporting Labsat Northview High School in Covina...

Schools
11
Responses
70
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Should the Voting Age Be Lowered to 16?

When you turn 18, our society generally considers you an adult. You can join the military, you’re eligible for jury d...

Schools
25
Responses
183
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Is America's Bail System Fair or Does It Need to Be Reformed?

The bail system is designed to make sure criminal suspects show up to court after being released. This keeps suspects...

Schools
15
Responses
157
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Is a Carbon Tax the Best Way to Slow Climate Change?

The latest report from the United Nations shows that the climate is changing a lot faster than scientists originally...

Schools
11
Responses
527
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Should Race Be a Factor in College Admissions?

Using race and gender as one of many factors for college admissions is controversial. Those in favor of affirmative a...

Schools
24
Responses
287
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Should We Get Free Money From the Government?

Some people think universal basic income--where the government gives everyone JUST enough money to afford the basics...

Schools
18
Responses
92
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What Would It Take to Change Your Mind About Something You Really Believed?

Confirmation bias wants you to stay in your comfort zone. This cognitive bias causes us to seek out opinions we alrea...

Schools
20
Responses
425
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How Can We Get More Young People to Vote?

Historically, younger generations had very low voter turnout rates in the U.S. By 2020, there will be an estimated 22...

Schools
16
Responses
441
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What's the Best Way to Measure if a Student is Ready for College?

Taking the SAT or ACT is a high school rite of passage and a requirement on most college applications. But more and m...

Schools
21
Responses
514
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Could You Become Addicted to Playing Video Games?

Some experts think people can become addicted to playing video games, much in the same way people are addicted to phy...

Schools
43
Responses
786
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Are Post-Smartphone Reading Habits Hindering Student Literacy?

Books have lots of competition for attention these days - phones, games, social media.  Some people think the ri...

Schools
29
Responses
844
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Does the U.S. Asylum System Need to Change?

Right now, thousands of migrants seeking asylum are being detained along the U.S./ Mexico border. Many are seeking re...

Schools
12
Responses
110
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Is Bitcoin Worth the Hype or Just Another Passing Fad?

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies became big news items when their values skyrocketed. But is this digital cash the...

Schools
7
Responses
47
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Would More Research on Gun Violence Help Reduce Deaths From Guns?

Compared to other wealthy nations, the U.S. has the highest rate of gun deaths. The big question is “Why?” Watch the...

Schools
11
Responses
43
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Are Conspiracy Theories Harmless Fun, a Serious Problem or Something in Between?

Conspiracy theories usually center on a sinister plot by a powerful organization. They are also almost never true. So...

Schools
22
Responses
225
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How Concerned Are You About Water Scarcity and What Should Be Done About It?

Water is essential to survival and as the world’s population grows, the demand for water will increase. For many part...

Schools
16
Responses
441
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Would You Be Worried if a Close Friend Decided to Start or Keep Vaping?

Vaping is a growing trend among teens around the country. Though e-cigs are often marketed as a healthier alternative...

Schools
31
Responses
493
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Are Endangered Species Worth Saving?

Species are dying out at alarmingly high rates. Find out why this is happening, what effects it may have and decide f...

Schools
38
Responses
1151
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Should the U.S. Build its Nuclear Weapons Arsenal?

Nuclear weapons are seriously deadly. But a defense strategy called "Nuclear Deterrence" might make it less likely fo...

Schools
27
Responses
209
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What Does Free Speech Mean on College Campuses?

College campuses across the United States have found themselves at the center of a raging free speech debate. As cont...

Schools
19
Responses
236
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Should We Genetically Modify Mosquitoes to Fight Disease?

Dive into the science and policy surrounding the use of genetically engineered mosquitoes to combat mosquito-borne di...

Schools
27
Responses
404