Stewart students shocked, angered at Capitol invasion

Like millions of Americans across the country, Stewart students were stunned by the events of Jan. 6, when a mob encouraged by President Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol Building as Congress was formally accepting the results of the 2020 Presidential election.

Five people died, including a U.S. Capitol police officer and one woman who was part of the mob. Since then, authorities have made numerous arrests, and the House of Representatives voted to impeach President Trump for his role in encouraging the insurrection.

On the day after, students read news coverage of the event and then shared their reactions, considering such questions as:

What emotions did you experience as you learned about this?

What does the event tell you about the importance of facts and evidence?

What are your thoughts about the idea of a double-standard – that the police would have responded more aggressively if the crowd had been people of color instead of mostly white people?

As a young person, what does this event make you wonder about the future of our country?

Students’ responses:


When I heard about the Pro-Trump mob invading the United States Capitol Building, I was shocked. No, shocked is an understatement. I was extremely shocked, speechless and disgusted. I never expected something like that to happen and for it to go down the way it did. I couldn’t help but think back to the Black Lives Matter protests in June and see the double standards popping out at me. If the mob was filled with mostly black people or other people of color, the outcome would’ve been so different. It’s time we address how prominent white privilege is in our society and grow from this. I just can’t help but be scared for what the future holds. How will we come back from this when we’re clearly divided?

— Kaydence P.


It disgusts me beyond words, and should’ve never have been allowed. Yes, allowed, because they could make it into the Capitol Building with one officer standing guard, when it could’ve been stopped. We are in the middle of a pandemic and I haven’t seen not one mask. My question is, where were all the police officers that were guarding the Capitol during the Black Lives Matter protests? As a young person, I am extremely disappointed in the generations above me. It reminds me of a toddler throwing a petty fit because they didn’t get a toy they liked in a store. It’s selfish and out of pocket, and I am very angry at this immature and dangerous incident. I will not stop trying to educate, especially mine/younger generations so we can be better than this.

— Korinne S.


I wasn’t shocked at all. At this point for me in life there’s nothing to shocked about. My emotions were numb and I didn’t know how to feel about this situation. I thought it was sick because the police didn’t do anything about it and they did something about the BLM protest and harmed people. But what I wish or hope for the future is that Donald Trump will no longer be president.

Monae W.


That is unnecessary and it should have not been done. Like you’re doing that in a pandemic because someone lost in a political debate? You went to the U.S. Capitol Building and put several peoples’ lives in danger. They killed people. But I also think they should’ve kept it to themselves. Like if you have something to say then please go to a community or keep it to yourself. … But please don’t go to the U.S. Capitol and protest because your president lost. It just doesn’t make sense. They set a bad example for 2021 and for younger people. I’m concerned on how this year is going to affect people mentally and physically due to what has happened in less than a week. This scares me knowing that people want to bring up something that happened a month ago and bring it back. It makes me wonder if they are going to bring something else back and cause more problems. There’s so much more going on in the world and they want to have a protest about this? My reaction was shocked. I am disappointed that some adults decide to do this instead of staying at home. Something so unnecessary. And the fact that Trump supports this disgust me.

Jordyn W.


I feel really upset by what happened on Wednesday because of the white supremacy. During the BLM protest the police shot rubber bullets and threw tear gas, and hurt a lot of innocent black people who were standing up for what was right. What makes me upset is how the police let the ugly Trump supporters walk all over them and they didn’t throw no tear gas or rubber bullets plus they trespassed and broke a lot of the windows of the building. My question is what if the people were black? They wouldn’t even be able to get that close or they would get shot. The United States is racist.

— Randall S.


I had heard that Trump supporters had stormed the Capitol Building, and I couldn’t believe it. I gaped when I saw a video of what happened, it was worse than I thought. Why would they do this? Why could anyone be that horrible? I was almost distraught and dumbfounded. These people are crazy! Then it hit me hard, what else are they going to do? As time passed I coped with it until I heard what little consequences were inflicted I was angry.  I was and still am worried. If they choose what happens to our country, what will happen? They must listen to us! What is wrong with them?! I hope that the next generation is better, because there is certainly something wrong with this one!

— Brooke R.


I just think this whole thing is dumb. A bunch of grown people basically throwing a fit about not getting their way. We had an election for a reason, so that everything is fair and the majority wins. Of course, I’m only in middle school, so what do I know about politics? I just don’t understand why people must act this way. Why can’t they just go with it and accept the rules of voting, or at least respond in a less aggressive and not so physical way? It’s just so stupid and frustrating how people think they can act like this and that they think it’s for a greater cause. It just translates from “I didn’t get what I wanted” to “Something’s not right.” Most of the time, they probably don’t even stop to think about why and what they are doing, they just think “Oh, something didn’t go my way, I need to fight,” and then they just get sucked up in all the power they have and completely ignore what they were trying to fight against in the first place, and then everything just gets way out of hand.

— Paige P.


I feel like the future is up in the air, we cannot say what will happen because no one has a way of saying that. As far as the racial things, yes there’s still a long way to go. I feel like there is always going to be some unwanted feedback about how people of color or different races are treated. As for emotions, I feel OK because its’s not directly messing with my life so there’s not going to be anything I can do about it but yes it does hurt to see stuff like this, but I am a child and even if I wasn’t it is still very dangerous to get into things like that. And with the double standard – with the BLM protest there was some looting but the people who were protesting were protesting, not looting. With this Capitol break in I feel like they were in their feelings, simple as that. When something doesn’t go your way, you don’t throw a tantrum you try and fix it the respectful and correct way, like ADULTS. I don’t understand how us children can talk about this and respectfully agree and disagree but THESE GROWN OVER 18+ ADULTS want to fuss and bicker like little children. This is not some small problem, there is no reason for them to act like this.

— Jerlean G.


The election was fair. They made sure to carefully count each vote. This isn’t a protest; this is just attacking because people didn’t get what they wanted. Listen, Biden won fair and square and he’s going to become president. This behavior is just unacceptable. As adults, they should be able to work things out and at the end of the day be OK with the loss. What do they do instead? They would act like babies and break stuff. They have cameras so they should find them all and arrest them. Why couldn’t they arrest them all? If it was reverse and another race did this, they would already be arrested if not dead. This will tell us that more people want power in the future and it’s not OK. During the BLM movement, it was good they were peacefully protesting. They were also doing this for a good cause. Sure, there would be people breaking things but, it wasn’t as bad as Trump supporters storming the Capitol and destroying things. Also, another point is that the police would hurt so many good people who are trying to make a good difference in a BLM movement but they wouldn’t hurt Trump supporters who are breaking and entering a Capitol.
— Alexander S.


My reaction of what happened on Wednesday is that was wrong for people to just walk into the Capitol and break and enter and all the security was doing nothing about it. But when there is peaceful protest for BLM there’s rubber bullets and tear gas involved. Also, literally all the people where white and if any person of color was there they would probably go to jail because of the color of their skin. One of my questions is why is nothing happening to the people that broke and entered, because that is illegal to do? Also, the police and security should have done something about it because they did nothing all they did was just let people go in the US Capitol and vandalize stuff. As a young person, this event makes me wonder about how our society is going to act if this happens in the future.

— Gabrielle M.


What happened on Wednesday I find absolute crazy and unnecessary and most of all absolutely disgusting. When I heard about this and I read about it I was so confused and shaken and when I started seeing the videos I was so disgusted and this one video of people re-creating someone’s death video wasn’t funny at all in any shape or form, and them breaking in and stealing things that they didn’t purchase made me more upset, and the fact that this is all happening because of the government and someone lost is ridiculous and disgusts me so much, and the fact that it’s white people the cops are chill about it but if they were black or Hispanic they would probably be dead by now. Honestly as a young person I’m scared to live in the future, I mean how much worse can it be?

— Emilie B.


My reaction is shock. … I saw that one police officer was holding a bunch of people off, but no one listened. They kept going and going even when the police were holding a baton to back them off, but no one backed off. I thought, why did the police officer do this to people of color?

All people are the same. If young people get to vote most of us do not get to because first, we do not know how to, and second we do not know who to vote for. Finally, most of us cannot vote cause we’re not old enough to vote. This event could lead to an apocalypse if this keeps happening.

— Huy N.


I was super surprised they were pushing the cops back into the wall and some of the demonstrators threatened. … And one woman got killed, and if all of them were black they all would have been shot.

— Raymond H.