Witnessing history: Teachers encourage students to watch the presidential inauguration in class

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As a new presidential administration takes over at the White House, students across the country are paying close attention. Some teachers have made it a priority for them to be tuned in to the historic events this week, especially the presidential inauguration.

Wednesday was a day that Alief Taylor High School's Krystal Williams has been preparing her 12th grade government students for. Williams had her students start the day off with one question: "In America, a large number of people who are eligible to vote, don't. Why is that?"

She said most of her students responded by saying people don't understand what is going on or they feel disconnected from the process. That's a big reason why it was important for her to allow students to watch the inauguration.

"Four years ago, as seniors, they were in 8th or 9th grade. They were not really paying attention," Williams said. "But now, as seniors, you are paying attention. We talk to them all the time about how things literally happening today will impact your life."

Alief is a very diverse school with many children of immigrant parents. Williams says newly-sworn Vice President Kamala Harris has given her students a visual representation of the saying "you can be anything you want in life."

Williams has been an educator for 20 years, teaching government for 8 of them. She says the capitol riot and this election in general have made her job different than any year before. But they also showed her students our democracy in action and that their voices matter.

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