Edina High School

Speech & Debate

Update Regarding COVID-19

Hello Edina Speech and Debate families,

By now you have likely been made aware that the scheduled NSDA Southern MN, NSDA Central MN qualifiers and Cottage Park Grove tournaments have now been cancelled due to concerns over COVID-19 in the metro area. There will be an attempt to host the NSDA qualifying tournament at a later date but we have no details of when that will be for now.

I understand that this is likely a disappointment to many. I too am saddened about this disruption to our season. It is never easy to take on change, especially change that is so sudden and in response to a threat that may not yet be fully realized. However, the response that we have seen from around the metro area is that public health must be prioritized and large events should not be held. It is the right decision for us as a community to follow suit.

To our students I want to say, take more care than usual. While the data shows that COVID-19 may not be particularly harmful to young people, that is not always the case. More than that, each of us has a social responsibility to do our part in a time of crisis. COVID-19 is quite contagious and has a long period of incubation. What may not impact you will impact others around you and for that reason we must take the utmost care. Major world events happening while one is young can be difficult to process. While looking to normalcy can be attractive in times like this, this is not normal. Take the time to review the guidelines from appropriate sources like the CDC and WHO. You will likely all remember the next few months for the rest of your lives the way my generation remembers 9/11 and generations before remembered Vietnam, WWII, the Great Depression and the Spanish Flu. It is quite important to remember that if this does get a serious foothold in Minnesota, it is likely that our actions will carry more significance to others than ourselves.

I want to reassure everyone that as of right now, nobody in our program or district has tested positive. As far as we know, there is no urgent need to test anyone and families should follow the guidance of the CDC for when seeking testing may be necessary.

Following that guidance, we are immediately suspending in-person practices and going digital. Given how fast things changed over the course of today, I expect that we will have new guidance by Monday on how activities are to proceed.

Rest assured, the seasons are not over. We have the resources at Edina to ensure that and we will be working in the meantime to begin setting up digital platforms so that our work may continue as effectively as possible. Speech and debate are important and we are not throwing in the towel! There are talks about moving entire tournaments online and while I also would prefer an in person tournament, it seems better than an abrupt end to the season altogether.

I hope this finds all of you well. If you have any questions, feel free to direct them to me. I will do my best to answer in a timely fashion. The website will continue to be updated as we learn more.


Hayden T. Uihlein

Director of Forensics, Edina High School