Explaining a riot

Teachers working to make sense of Jan. 6 insurrection for students

Steve Smith
ssmith@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 1/18/21

Two local school districts agree that the Jan. 6 takeover of the U.S. Capitol is a teaching tool in their schools.  Brighton Education Association President Kathey Ruybal and Fort Lupton Education …

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Explaining a riot

Teachers working to make sense of Jan. 6 insurrection for students

Posted

Two local school districts agree that the Jan. 6 takeover of the U.S. Capitol is a teaching tool in their schools. 

Brighton Education Association President Kathey Ruybal and Fort Lupton Education President Kimberly Flanagan said the riot that killed five, including two District of Columbia police officers, presented a “teachable moment.” 

“Just as with content area instruction, teachers make important choices about which methods and materials will be most developmentally appropriate for their students,” Flanagan said. “Given the details of the events and the coverage they received, discussions with younger students might be focused on helping them process what they’ve heard and how they’re feeling.” 

Ruybal and Flanagan agreed the focus changes for older students. 

“For middle-grade students, it might also be necessary to define some of the words they’ve likely heard repeatedly over the last week,” Flanagan said. “For older students, there are opportunities to examine not only what happened, but how they are portrayed in various mediums.” 

Neither 27J Schools nor the Weld Re-8 district has put forward guidance for in-class discussion. 

“As with any instruction in Weld Re-8, the goal is always to equip students with the necessary information and tools to think critically about important topics and current events,” Flanagan said. “Ultimately, teachers rely on both their professional expertise and knowledge of their students to determine the best route forward.” 

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