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Impeachment trial: a teachable moment in the classroom

Partisan politics aside, the impeachment offers a rare look at how the branches of US government work
Posted at 6:49 PM, Jan 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-21 18:49:03-05

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WKBW) — As the impeachment trial of President Trump gets underway in the U.S. Senate, many people will be watching how it plays out - including students.

"They should participate in this experience. They should pay attention and they should know those special moments in history that they are part of," said Julie Conti, an AP Government and Street Law teacher at Niagara Falls High School.

The impeachment process is allowing classrooms and students to witness an operation of government that is rarely used. It is also inspiring many students to learn more about the Constitution and the Founding Fathers.

"Definitely, just to see how they had to deal with things and if anything similar to this happened back then," said 17-year-old student Brandon Davis.

The opening arguments in the impeachment trial are scheduled to take place in long shifts over multiple days time - much longer than students will be in the classroom. However, Conti said the internet, smart phones and social media allow students to keep up-to-date on developments and share political ideas that spurs further contemplation and debate.

"Often times over the weekend, or on a holiday, students will send me information saying "Hey, did you see this article or this political story?" added Conti.

While the impeachment has been full of partisanship, students in the Niagara Falls HS government class say they are not scared-off from considering a career in politics.

"It gives me more of a fight in my spirit to fix the injustices," added Felicity Tiberi, also age 17.