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Students hopeful as history unfolds

Students at PIke Liberal Arts clap and cheer as they watched the inauguration of President Donald Trump on Friday

Students at PIke Liberal Arts clap and cheer as they watched the inauguration of President Donald Trump on Friday

Students in the local schools joined people all across that nation Friday in watching a historic moment unfold as Donald J. Trump took the oath of office as the 45th President of the United States of America.

Students in Timothy Fayson’s senior history class at Charles Henderson High School watched with interest and disinterest as the parade of former U.S. presidents and first ladies and the president elect and first lady made their way to the Capitol’s podium during a television broadcast.  And, the students’ varied reactions were to be expected, Fayson said.

The students participated in a mock election early in the school year with a large number of students showing a preference for independent hopefuls.

“The students weren’t pleased with either Trump or (Hillary) Clinton,” Fayson said.

“Trump’s popularity was fueled by social media and Clinton was not thought to be trustworthy.  Some students appreciated the openness of Donald Trump while Hillary Clinton appeared to be scheming and involved in cover-ups. Those that voted for one or the other just saw their candidate as the lesser of two evils.”

Fayson said today’s youth are carefree and politics is not high on their agenda.

“There are so many distractions, especially social media,” he said. “It’s a big influence and that can be good or bad.

“We’ve got to decide what we want America to be and not be influenced otherwise … America is only as great as its people,” he said. “The President can’t do it alone. It will take all of us working together.”

Xiomaria Wilson said she believes the country has “messed up” in electing Donald Trump.

“He has no political experience. He’s arrogant and could get us in a war,” she said.

Logan Daniel said some people think that Trump is not “fit” to be president but he thinks experience will help.

“We’ve just got to give him time to play it out,” he said. “I think with experience he’ll do good.”

Beth Murphree used the 2016 presidential election to better inform her government class at Pike Liberal Arts School about the Electoral College process and to encourage them to “know more” about the candidates vying for the country’s highest political office.

“It was exciting for the students to see the whole process and to be involved in the Electoral College debate,” Murphree said. “They now understand much better why we have an Electoral College, how the process works and why.”

Christian Clark said he comes from a political family and appreciated the opportunity to learn more about the election process. He followed the presidential campaign closely.

“Donald Trump is outspoken and he’s not afraid to say what he thinks,” Clark said.

“I believe with Donald Trump, we’ll have a stronger military and our country will be safer and life will be better all over the country.”

Cason Murphree said he appreciated the opportunity to be witness to a milestone in American history.

“Donald Trump promised change and I think he’ll do what he said. I’m hopeful. I’m optimistic,” he said.

“I’m looking for the change Donald Trump promised. It’s time for America to put its boots back on and bring about that change.”