ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) ─ Across the country, Americans are processing the chaos that ensued at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. Wednesday. Students are also wrapping their heads around the current state of affairs.
“We have to be able to identify what’s true and what isn’t,” said Steve Vaughan. “And that’s a big goal of mine as a teacher is to help them sift through the noise.”
Steve Vaughan is a government teacher at Rockford Lutheran School. He thinks it is essential to talk to kids about the violence that erupted in Washington, D.C. as election results were being certified.
“It’s hugely important for young people to be engaged in the political process, and to be engaged in the political process,” said Vaughan. “It’s very important for them to understand what’s going on and be aware of current events.”
Vaughan said young people need to know this is not par for the course when comes to the democratic process.
“We’ve never had a president deny the legitimacy of an election before,” he said. “It’s not normal. I think this message is getting through to them, I think they understand that, but they’ve never witnessed normalcy and that’s unfortunate.”
If parents are struggling to start a conversation with their kids, experts suggest talking about both appropriate and inappropriate ways they can pursue change.
“I think we have to differentiate and let our children know that what they saw was not protest, and what they saw was rioting, was violence, were acts of hate,” said Child Psychologist, Reena B. Patel.
“There’s no excuse for demonizing your opponent. You just tell the truth, and be respectful, and that’s all that we can ask,” added Vaughan.