History lesson not lost on Biden inauguration

Kent County

WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — If you’re looking for a sliver of hope for the future, chances are you’ll find it in the optimism expressed by third graders following the inauguration of President Joe Biden.

“Treat people the way you’d want to be treated,” said one student as he and his classmates watched Biden’s inauguration address.

“Be united together, work as one,” said another.

They were among the students at North Godwin Elementary in Wyoming whose teachers turned the historic day in Washington into a lesson.

This inauguration is part of a unique lesson in history and a unique challenge for teachers.

“Pro-Trump or against Trump. That’s real,” said North Godwin Elementary School third grade teacher Sarah David.

“Fifth graders are more aware of the positive and negative effects of this,” said fifth grade teacher Diane VanderMeulen.

David and VanderMeulen both refused to let the tone and the rhetoric so popular outside of the classroom invade it.

All along, they’ve allowed the students to talk about current events.

“I want my students to just to know that this is a safe place to talk about it. And that we’re not all going to agree,” David said.

“There’s a lot of hurt — a lot of anger. There’s a lot of healing that needs to go on,” VanderMeulen said. “And we definitely bring that present. But we don’t dwell on that. We move forward.”

Fifth graders at  North Godwin Elementary School in Wyoming watch the inauguration on Jan. 20, 2021. 
Fifth graders at North Godwin Elementary School in Wyoming watch the inauguration on Jan. 20, 2021.

At the end of the day, both teachers hope the students will better understand how democracy works and become better citizens.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Know something newsworthy? Report It!

News 8 Links