State debate tournament returns to Amarillo

Amarillo, TX - More than 1500 high school students from all across Texas were in Amarillo this weekend for a statewide competition.

The Texas Forensic Association's annual speech and debate state tournament was hosted by Amarillo High School this year for the first time in a decade.

In the tournament, students compete in events like acting, speaking, and debate, which     educators say provides them with valuable skills.

"The talents and all the research abilities, being able to get up and speak in front of a crowd, all of those are skills that they will find for the rest of their lives, they'll be falling back on those particular skills - basically, in one word, they learn life," Tascosa High School speech teacher Ann Shofner said.

"Kids learn to be more confident, they learn to think differently, think more critically," Amarillo High School speech teacher Melissa Denny said.

Organizers say the tournament also helps bring outside revenue to local hotels and restaurants.