Impeachment reverberates locally

Park responds to national developments


Samantha Klepfer

A majority of the impeachment inquiry is taking place at Capitol Hill in Washington D.C.

By Noah Orloff, St. Louis Park High School

After the full House voted to officially impeach President Donald Trump, the recent political discourse has called into question the effect of national politics on Park. According to social studies teacher Jill Merkle, impeachment has generated varying degrees of interest among students.

“In general (impeachment is) historically really important because we are living through a moment that rarely ever happens,” Merkle said. “I have found that kids tend to be much more disengaged this year from what is going on with the presidency than I’ve had in the last few years and that’s not a testament to who I have this year as kids — I think it is generally  (because) people are feeling a little frustrated with politics.”

Junior William Hoikka said impeachment does not impact many students who are unable to fully participate in the political process. 

“I don’t think it really affects high school students unless you’re 18 because when you’re 18, you actually have a say and you’re actually part of society,” Hoikka said.

Merkle said the president reflects how we interact with one another.

“With Trump, he is definitely a different president than we’ve really had in previous years and some of his negative language and name calling implies that that’s OK and models of that is what we do to each other,” Merkle said.

According to junior Jack Fredrickson, the president can affect students through legislation as well. 

“I think (impeachment) impacts everyone in the country because we are all being governed by someone who is allegedly a criminal,” Fredrickson said. 

Sophomore Tommy Hiemenz said impeachment and other national developments can have local implications. 

“I feel like it impacts us by the way that we view things,” Hiemenz said. “Whatever the president says I feel like a lot of people believe him.” 

According to Merkle, the social studies department has worked to address impeachment in the classroom. 

“I know that some teachers have gone through the actual process of impeachment and had kids do activities with it,” Merkle said “I think people do a really good job following the news and talking about it with kids.” 

This story was originally published on The Echo on December 25, 2019.