Talking to students about the Capitol takeover
Last night, after watching the events of the Capitol takeover in Washington, D.C., Prichard Committee President & CEO Brigitte Blom Ramsey tweeted, “Our young people are watching tonight, they’re formulating perceptions of our democracy, the role of decency, questioning the ideals of our founding – and seeding the future. Let our BETTER ANGELS prevail tonight & in days ahead.”
Indeed, Jan. 7, 2021 will be a day like no other for America’s K-12 students. In Kentucky, most public school students have not been in a classroom since March 13, 2020. So today, the day after supporters of President Trump stormed the Capitol and disrupted the certification of the electoral college votes in favor of President-Elect Biden, students are in their homes doing virtual learning and obviously will have many questions and robust discussions with parents and teachers alike.
Kentucky Education Commissioner Jason E. Glass summed up this need to discuss and teach about what happened in an op-ed posted today.
“While it may be tempting in this politically charged time to avoid discussing the matter altogether, doing so misses an important teachable moment for our students, where their interest and curiosity about what is happening presents an opportunity for genuine engagement,” he wrote.
For those teachers and parents looking for resources to help teach about this and other current events, the following links may help you shape those conversations:
- Facing History & Ourselves: Current Events Teacher Checklist PDF Workbook
- Facing History & Ourselves: Responding to the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol
- Facing History & Ourselves: Explainer: Political Polarization in the United States
- The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence: Managing Emotions in Times of Uncertainty & Stress
- EducationWeek: Caring for Students in the Wake of a Traumatic News Event
- The New York Times: What Are Your Reactions to the Storming of the Capitol by a Pro-Trump Mob?