WEBB CITY, Mo. — Some local teens are getting the chance to test their debate skills on a global scale. Three Webb City High School students have advanced in the “International Public Policy Forum.” It started out as a virtual debate contest with hundreds of teams competing from around the world online.

Bria Brattin, Evan Garrison, and McKenzie Jones have now made the cut to the field of 64 — the only Missouri team to make it this far.

“It feels great. It’s definitely one of the bigger accomplishments we’ve had. And it’s really cool to be successful in that area,” said Brattin.

“The topic on whole is, we’re debating whether NATO is an effective model for international cooperation. So what that means for us on the affirmative side, we’re going to make some arguments that we think they’re good at what they’re doing. And then on the negative side, we’re going to show all the bad things they’re doing,” said Garrison.

“It’s probably the most different type of debate that at least I’ve competed in. It has a different format instead of the first rounds competing physically, like having an oral debate, it’s more of a written debate and they’re written more like essays instead of debate cases,” said Jones.

The competition will continue online until next spring when the top 8 teams will get to compete face-to-face in New York City.