Insurrection at the Capitol

During Congress’ Jan. 6 meeting to affirm the votes of the 2020 presidential election, an insurrection led by Donald Trump supporters swarmed the U.S. Capitol. Members of Congress, who were in session when the capitol was breached, were ushered to secure areas to hide from the mob.
The insurrection elicited reactions of fear, shock and sadness from RHS students and staff and prompted statements of condemnation from leaders on all sides of the aisle.
I received news of the insurrection through some friends over Discord,” an anonymous sophomore said. “… I was absolutely horrified and disgusted, but I can’t say I was surprised. What happened was infuriating.”

Others criticized and questioned the lack of security surrounding the federal building during the insurrection, such as how nonchalant police seemed to be with rioters, allowing some to pass through with little resistance. 

“Why did it take so long for the Capitol police to have back up? Why was the security presence so small?” music teacher Cynthia Diehl asked when looking back at the event.

Local leaders like SMOB Nick Asante used social media posts to offer support to members of the community who felt unsafe following the incident.
“As we navigate these challenging times together, please know that there are brighter days ahead,” Asante said in a Jan. 7 post on Instagram. “I, along with your teachers, administrators, and school system, are here to support you.”

At RHS, teachers were given resources to share with students, encouraging many to talk about their feelings through Google forms and documents.
I allowed [my] classes themselves to decide whether or not they wanted to discuss the event at length,” Diehl said. “The students who wanted to discuss either stayed after class, or were separated into breakout rooms where I moderated the discussion.”
On Jan. 6, D.C. Mayor Muriel Browser ordered a state of emergency in the Nation’s capital until Jan. 21, the day after the Presidential Inauguration. In conjunction, Governor Hogan of Maryland also declared a state of emergency, sending National Guard troops to D.C. to  support authorities in controlling potential unrest. 

High levels of safety and the sudden restrictions implemented have many feeling weary of Inauguration Day, uncertain of what it will bring moving forward. 

“The wound is still very fresh,” Diehl said. “[In the future,] I am cautiously optimistic with the influx of younger members of Congress. We need new ideas and youth brings new beginnings.”