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Article Published March 7, 2018
Leaders in the Making
Jan Taigen

On Feb. 24, the Rotary clubs of Chester, Deep River, and Essex hosted Valley Regional’s first Four-Way Test Speech Contest.

Students picked any topics of interest and then analyzed the ethics of that topic using the Rotary Four Way Test, which asks: Is it the truth? Is it fair? Will it build goodwill? Will it be beneficial?

Six students participated, speaking with passion and courage and giving the audience new perspectives to consider. Here are some of the insightful ideas from their speeches:

During the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, senators opposing the bill prohibiting discrimination based on race added discrimination against women thinking that would ensure the bill’s failure.

If the age to purchase and operate a gun were raised to 21, potential shooters would be three years past their troubled high school years.

Fake news can be demonstrated for its silly but real danger by using an example like the Flat Earth Society.

The phrase “I can neither confirm nor deny” is used to interfere with the Freedom of Information Act.

The OJ Simpson trial is an example of how tricks interfere with justice.

Using the mentally ill as the scapegoat to blame for mass shootings is both untrue and disrespectful to the needs of those with mental illness.

Those in attendance were certainly impressed! Thanks go to all six courageous students for their participation. They are leaders in the making and their leadership will be needed.

Jan Taigen
Chester Rotary