Junior high students join in Inauguration Day conversation

Posted at 8:10 PM, Jan 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-20 23:47:29-05

MILWAUKEE -- Junior high students at Milwaukee Montessori School may have not trekked to Washington, DC for the inauguration of President Trump, but they were able to get a first row view of the festivities from the comfort of their classroom.

"I thought it was really cool how he touched on everything that he was talking about when he was campaigning," one student said.

The student said she has supported Trump throughout his candidacy. She said she's in favor of his candor, and what she considers direct dialogue, but not all of her classmates can say the same.

"I didn't really know what I should be thinking," Catherine Nelson admitted after listening to Trump speak. 

"I was trying to sort out in my head, what [I] want to think," she continued.

While Nelson was grappling with her thoughts, 7th grade student Quinn Hughes was busy comparing Trump's speech to the speeches of former presidents he's studied in class.

"Some of the quotes and some of the stuff he said was from Thomas Jefferson and [Alexander] Hamilton, which is what we are learning right now," Hughes said.

The stories of former presidents play a role in the junior high history curriculum taught by Ben Riggs.

Riggs said he wants his students to gain an appreciation for the transfer of power that's unique to our country.

"In China when they switch presidents it's all done in a back room, there's a swearing in ceremony," Riggs said.

"And even then, China had an emperor until the 1920s," he continued.

That''s why Riggs made it a point to incorporate the viewing of the inauguration in his lesson plan Friday. He said simply put, it's democracy in action. 

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