Parr Center for Ethics sponsors first high school ethics bowl

East Chapel Hill High School won the inaugural Triangle Regional High School Ethics Bowl on April 30 on the UNC campus. The event was created and sponsored by the Parr Center for Ethics in the department of philosophy in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Seven teams from six local high schools participated in the event. The North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics finished second, and Carolina Friends School had two teams that tied for third place.

In an Ethics Bowl competition, teams of up to five students face off on a series of challenging and complex moral issues. Presented with case studies drawn from real events, participants defend positions they believe to be most reasonable, and are judged on the strength, perceptiveness and logical force of the arguments offered. The tournament is an exciting and competitive event where teams work together to find the best position while developing a greater understanding and appreciation of the arguments on all sides.

The teams were judged by panels of three, including professors, graduate students and prominent members of the community. East Chapel Hill won the final round with 147.5 points out of a possible 160. Their score of 147.5 was the highest in any of the 10 competition rounds throughout the day.

Other schools participating in the event were Cedar Ridge High School, Woods Charter School and Cary Academy. The program aims to expand to other area schools next year and to host the first statewide North Carolina High School Ethics Bowl Championship in 2013.

The Parr Center for Ethics is an embodiment of the University’s commitment to ethics. The Center brings academic and theoretical work in ethics to bear on practical ethical issues; encourages the moral development and ethical awareness of students; and provides a public forum for productive discussions of ethical issues affecting the University, state, national and international communities.

For more information about the High School Ethics Bowl or the Parr Center for Ethics, visit or email