How DC teachers addressed the Capitol breach in the classroom


WASHINGTON (WDVM) — As D.C. students went to school Thursday, it was inevitable teachers would have to address the Wednesday’s insurrection with students, the question, how?

Collin Radix-Carter is a D.C. public schools pre-school teacher at Mann Elementary, just 10 miles away from the Capitol. He spoke to WDVM about how he led the conversation in his classroom, focusing on making sure children felt safe.

“The big thing is that I wanted to make sure our children knew that we are keeping them safe. From our mayor, and our teachers, and our school and your families, we just want to make sure that you feel safe,” said Radix-Carter.

Radix-Carter says he began by asking if his students knew why there was a curfew and some responded by saying they knew there was something happening at the Capitol. For the students who didn’t know what had happened, this is how he explained.

“There were people there who were very upset that Trump is no longer going to be president, they don’t want Joe Biden to be president and they wanted to show their anger to our leaders,” stated Radix-Carter.

In the classroom they’ve been discussing feelings, using this event as a way to talk about anger.

“We’ve been talking to them about how to resolve anger in more appropriate ways, so using that as a bridge to kind of figure out, you know, it is okay to be angry, but the way that the protestors were showing their anger was not appropriate,” expressed Radix-Carter.

Radix-Carter advises parents to not shield children from events entirely but explain key concepts after figuring out what they already might know, but it all depends on the parent’s comfort level.

“Just begin by asking the children what they know about certain things that they might have seen or heard and then kind of go from there, have it be more of a conversation where the children are taking the lead and you’re just facilitating that discussion with them,” said Radix-Carter.

Radix-Carter said it could be doing children a disservice if they are unaware of events and how they could have been handled differently.

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