FARMINGDALE, NY (CBSNewYork) – Thursday marks the one-year anniversary of the uprising in the US capital, and that means worrying images and videos will be replayed and revive raw memories of a dark day in our nation’s history.
CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff spoke with some educators who gave tips on how parents and guardians should talk to children about what happened on January 6, 2021.
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Cameras captured the violence live, and yet there is still no national consensus on events that took place that day.
According to an Associated Press-NORC survey, 29% of Republicans view the attack as “not violent at all,” while 64% of all Americans describe the day as “very or extremely violent.”
“It’s not worrying for me. People expressed themselves,” one person told CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff on Wednesday.
“Any kind of aggression or violence, it’s not good,” said another person.
The United States remains a polarized nation. Some believe that educators have a responsibility to use the anniversary as a learning moment.
Hofstra University professor Dr. Alan Singer said teachers should start with facts.
“There are over 700 people who were arrested, people who have been convicted, and people pleaded guilty, so there are facts,” Singer said.
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Teachers say it is important to help students evaluate evidence, including video.
“They need to have classroom discussions where students are responsible for listening to each other, speaking respectfully, but also for supporting their ideas with evidence,” Singer said.
There has been no directive or curriculum to discuss the Capitol siege, but high school history teacher Derek Pearce told CBS2 that there are many lessons for young people.
“In a democracy, it’s really important to be able to develop opinions based on evidence, to be able to disagree with each other in a way that is respectful,” Pearce said.
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For middle school students, teachers suggest a discussion on justice, the democratic process, our rights and responsibilities. They say to reassure younger children that they are safe and live in a country where people can freely disagree, but that violence, like bullying, is wrong.
“It was a scary time for everyone and children will experience it as if it’s still happening now when they watch it on TV,” said family psychologist Dr. Susan Bartell.
Bartel added that exposure should be limited, but if January 6 shows up, talk about “being respectful of other children and other people. Go away if someone gets confrontational with you.”
We may agree that teaching children to respect each other’s opinions without resorting to violence at any time of the year is a worthy lesson.
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More than 100 law enforcement officers were injured on January 6.