Harvard’s prestigious debate team loses to NY inmates

Harvard University historic building in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

BOSTON (AP) — A group of New York inmates has toppled Harvard’s prestigious debate team.

It took place at the Eastern New York Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison in Napanoch. The Ivy League undergrads were invited last month to debate the inmates who take in-prison courses taught by Bard College faculty.

Harvard’s team won the national title this year and the world championship in 2014.

But the inmates are building a reputation, too. The club has notched victories against teams from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the University of Vermont.

Against Harvard, the inmates were tasked with defending the position that public schools should be allowed to turn away students whose parents came to the U.S. illegally. Harvard’s team responded, but a panel of neutral judges declared the inmates victorious.

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