Schools using inauguration as history lesson, but some parents disapprove

Posted at 6:02 PM, Jan 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-20 21:08:21-05

Arizona schools are using President Donald Trump's inauguration as a real-time history lesson, but not all parents approve.

Students from Chandler's Perry and Hamilton High Schools joined the sea of humanity on the National Mall.  For them, watching the inauguration in person was better than any book lesson.

"It's been awesome to be here and feel the aura in the air," Perry High School student Beecher Halladay said. "We have an impact in our country, and I can have one if I really try."

During their week-long trip, they met Arizona's senators, visited monuments and witnessed protests.

"Everybody's on edge or everybody's excited, and we're switching power - basically interesting to see how people are reacting to it," Perry High School student Lauren Stebbings said.

Stebbings said after the divisive election, experiencing the inauguration up close taught her about unity. 

"Yes, there's Republicans and there's Democrats, but in the end we're all one," Stebbings said.

Instead of sending people to the inauguration, Pinnacle High School showed it live in classrooms. At least one parent was upset about that decision, saying they should have received advanced notice.  Brett Barry got a call from his 17-year-old daughter this morning and asked for her to be excused from class.

"Why watch this ritual and endorse this president that said such derogatory things about women?" Barry said.

A Pinnacle spokeswoman says some teachers chose to use the event for educational purposes, but it wasn't mandatory.  She said just one parent complained.