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Students want to talk about events in Washington, local superintendent says

Temple ISD Superintendent Dr. Bobby Ott is encouraging teachers to help their students...
Temple ISD Superintendent Dr. Bobby Ott is encouraging teachers to help their students understand what happened in Washington, D.C. as pro-Trump demonstrators stormed the U.S. Capitol. (File)(WCAX)
Published: Jan. 8, 2021 at 11:03 AM CST
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TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) – Temple ISD Superintendent Dr. Bobby Ott is encouraging teachers to help their students understand what happened in Washington, D.C. as pro-Trump demonstrators stormed the U.S. Capitol.

Ott sent an email to staff Wednesday evening as the events were still unfolding in Washington in which he said students would likely have questions for teachers about what happened.

He said the idea is to explain the events in ways students can understand while showing them violence isn’t the way to resolve conflicts.

He said he talked with Thursday with a fifth grader he mentors and also received emails from several students about the protest.

He said he understands some may feel teachers shouldn’t be involved in talking about societal issues--and he agrees it’s not their primary purpose in schools--but he said the reality is students are going to want to talk about what happened Wednesday and teachers should be able to discuss it and to listen to students’ points of view.

“They need to understand that’s an anomaly and that’s not really what the future needs to look like, and they’re going to be part of taking us there,” Ott said.

Ott wanted to make it clear that the district isn’t taking sides politically.

He said he just wants an open and honest dialogue.

“We really take the position of being respectful to one another and compassionate, and listening to our students,” Ott said.

“If we ignore our students, put our head in the sand, what are we teaching them?”

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