Impeachment inquiry provides historic opportunity for students

TACOMA, Wash. – While political junkies are glued to the impeachment proceedings into President Trump, high school students also have a rare opportunity to learn about U.S. government while history is being made.

An advanced placement government and politics class at Lincoln High School in Tacoma is doing just that – and many of the kids say they are paying close attention.

Inside Megan Holyoke’s class, her students have a front row seat to history.

“It definitely feels different,” said Holyoke. “It feels like higher stakes almost, like getting them to that understanding.”

It’s not a crash course if it’s the first time you’re learning about how a presidential impeachment inquiry works.

Not only is she sharing the history of how impeachments work, she and Lincoln High’s instructional coach work to show how these young people fit in.

“They’re at a point in their life where they’re about to become voting age,” said Travis Davio. “I think they’re really trying to understand what their role is in all of this.”

The students get to watch history in the making and learn how a president finds themselves the focus of an impeachment inquiry.

“A president being impeached is really serious,” said senior student Jaxsen Adkins. “It’s a big deal.”

And while politics can become polarizing, the class hopes to teach kids how to gather information and data and come to their own conclusion beyond the talking points.

“I constantly push that in my classroom, they are political scientists,” said Holyoke.

Holyoke believes once the kids graduate, this lesson can teach them how to be informed voters.

“We also learned how it’s not just important to vote for president, it’s important to vote for House and Senate representatives,” said senior Maliyah Chom.

“I feel like I’m not represented as much in my government than I should be,” said Adkins. “I feel like they make all the decisions for me and it’s not okay.”

It’s a class that aims to teach young adults how to make a difference for themselves and their community while the teachable moment continues to unfold in front of their eyes.

“It’s this really surreal moment where I’m teaching in a moment where I know I’m going to teach this moment later in my career,” said Holyoke.