EL DORADO, Ark. (KTVE/KARD) — Students in the El Dorado School District didn’t shy away from discussing the Inauguration today, using it as an opportunity to analyze the history unfolding in their very eyes.
Students in Steven Meizler’s AP United States Government class didn’t catch the entire ceremony but they did listen to Joe Biden’s first presidential speech.
Of all of the topics the President Biden discussed, the one thing most were impressed about what his call for everyone to come together.
“His emphasis on unity was very clear and definitely a good thing. I’m encouraged that he will act both with unity and progress as president,” Ella Landridge said.
Some students like Rylee Lyons weren’t impressed with the riots that ensued at the Capitol on January 6 and hopes congressional leaders will being to rally around President’s Biden unity speech for the country’s sake.
“We’ve just broken a part since then” he said. “It’s just proven that America is more divided than it’s ever been.”
This inauguration was also a historic one with Kamala Harris being sworn in as the country’s newest vice president.
She is the first woman, first Black American and first South Asian American to hold the office.
In addition, Amanda Gorman, 22, was the youngest inaugural poet in United States history. Students say seeing new leaders emerge no matter their age, gender or race gives them hope that they too can be a part of true change.
“I think it’s great because it’s kind of symbolizing the passing of the torch,” Andrew Lowery said.
The classroom is filled with different political views but Meizler hopes the students will be able to confidently and boldly express their opinions without any rebuke.
The main goal of having his students to watch the speech wasn’t about making sure they watched history unfold but making sure they were able to digest what was happening and develop their own opinions without outside influence.
“Exposure is important. A lot of kids hear what’s happening from their parent’s perspective which is an important perspective but they also need to come in here and look at the actual facts of the situation and come up with their own conclusion,” Meizler said.
The students didn’t shy away from their expectations in the new administration. Some called for universal healthcare and eliminating student debt.