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Pennridge teachers told to avoid Jan. 6 discussion

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On the first anniversary of the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol, Pennridge School District social studies teachers were told not to “wade in” to discussions of the historic event in Washington, D.C., according to reporting from WHYY.
If asked, teachers were told, “simply state that the investigation is ongoing and as historians we must wait until there is some distance from the event for us to accurately interpret it,” wrote Keith Veverka, the Bucks County district’s K-12 social studies administrator, in a Jan. 5, 2002 email to principals and social studies teachers.
Additionally, the message said classes should be “business as usual.”
The email, shared with Philadelphia’s NPR station, also included comments from Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education Kathleen Brewster-Scheid, who said the information was intended to remind faculty that “not enough time has passed to be able to design clear lessons on all of the outcomes.”

CNN’s Michael Smerconish asked a professor of history at Texas A&M University and history textbook author if he believed the “hot button topic” could be taught now in history classes.
Professor Albert Broussard said while perspective is important when teaching about historical events, some facts surrounding the events of Jan. 6 can be taught today in the classroom. How they’ll be interpreted, however, may depend on where a student lives, he noted, due to the country’s deep polarization.
Regardless, Broussard added, “I will never teach this piece of American history the same way.” For the first time in the country’s history, he said, “we did not have a peaceful transfer of power … that was a ruptured departure.”
To date, more than 725 people have been arrested in the storming of the Capitol building that day. Pennsylvania has the third largest number of those charged, with six being Bucks County residents. Recently, the leader of the Oath Keepers, Stewart Rhodes, 56, was arrested and charged with “seditious conspiracy.”


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