20 Controversial Debate Topics for Middle School

We can definitely vouch for one thing: while reading our 20 controversial debate topics for middle school, you’re bound to be completely baffled and wonder who on earth came up with such topics for 11, 12 and 13-year olds!

In their essence, debates are great. Teachers who encourage debates prepare children for various challenges they are going to have later in life, since a lot of our adulthood is spent on different negotiations at home or at work. What is more, debate teaches us tolerance and acceptance. If you are assigned to defend an attitude which is in direct opposition to your real feelings, you may develop an understanding for the party you are defending.  What is a good debate topic? We would say it’s any topic that will get you thinking, and these are excellent, but very controversial.

20 Controversial Debate Topics for Middle School


Indeed, the following topics are going to raise even more eyebrows than our previous article on 17 controversial debate topics for teenagers. So, what are the most controversial topics for middle schoolers? Our main criterion was appropriateness, i.e. whether such topics are expected to be discussed by children between the age of 11-13. As well as that, some of these middle school debate topics require a thorough knowledge of politics, for example, or certain laws. Hardly is an average teenager able to discuss all the problems and challenges in the American voting system, or the matters of foreign policy. In addition, we deem topics about torture and killing other human beings extremely controversial for the children of this age. Obviously, here you won’t find typical debate topics for primary students such as Should cell phones be allowed in school.

As for the sources, we read through Edu ZenithTutorVistaThoughtCo. and The Middle Schoolers’ Debatabase suggestions and found a fair share of current controversial debate topics. The last source is an edition which also contains detailed information on how to conduct a debate in class, as well as provided arguments for and against a topic, and it could be said some of them are really good debate topics for college students with answers, too, since we believe some of them are too serious for middle schoolers.

Without further ado, here are 20 controversial debate topics for middle school!