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The breach of Capitol Hill on Jan. 6th, 2021 in Washington, D.C, will be taught in future classrooms across the country. 

Local high school U.S. History teachers and U.S Government teachers all had to tackle the conversation of the events that took place at the Capitol the very next day with their class. 

Joe Garcia, an AP U.S. History teacher at Cosumnes Oaks High School found this moment of history as unprecedented. 

To my knowledge this has never happened before in U.S. history.  And by ‘this’  I mean a mob forcing their way into the US Capitol.”

Garcia highlights the drastic difference of the event at Capitol hill by juxtaposing “a mob forcing their way into the US Capitol,” to “riots, uprisings, and protests.”

Garcia states, “There have been riots, uprisings, and protests in Washington, DC all throughout our country’s history, but nothing like this. The only event that is worth mentioning is the Revolution of 1800, there was no physical revolution; it was more of a political revolution.” 

Garcia explains the outcome of the Revolution of 1800, as history often repeats itself. 

“After the Election of 1800, which Thomas Jefferson won, there were fears and concerns about possible riots and violence leading up to the inauguration. The fears were unfounded; the transition of power from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson was peaceful. However, John Adams was so upset by his defeat that he refused to attend the inauguration.”

Andrea LaLonde, an AP Gov. teacher also at COHS discussed how the breach of Capitol Hill should be described in the classroom. 

When discussing what happened on Capitol Hill, the question of “protestors or terrorists,” is inevitable. 

LaLonde addresses the difference of motivation between the two and leaves it up to the students to decide which term is correct. 

“If it was just a mob that got exponentially out of control, then riot. Or was the underlying motivation to terrorize people in their jobs so that they couldn’t do their jobs? Then domestic terrorism.”

The question of “revolution or insurrection,” also comes along. 

LaLonde states, “In my current perspective last week was not a revolution, but an insurrection. Is it a group of people trying to overthrow the currently established authority? It seems to fit.”

LaLonde dives into the debated ways to move forward; the 25th Amendment and impeachment.

“We’ve seen a couple of the members [of Trump’s cabinet] resign. So the people who might be willing to consider the 25th Amendment, they’re already gone from the cabinet… Impeachment is one of the most significant pieces of authority. It can’t be partisan politics. You need a supermajority.”

LaLonde finishes off with a statement that focuses on the concept of American exceptionalism. 

“I would like to agree with all the leaders who say that [the Capitol Breach] doesn’t represent us, but clearly it is part of us. It is part of our history. It is part of our present. We need to be able to discuss things, civilly, openly, consistently.”