Teacher’s Talk: Presidential Politics – June 25

In Tuesday night’s study hall, students studied the court case of Wisconsin v. Yoder, which dealt with the rights of religious groups. Students then wrote a position paper of whether or not they thought there should be term limits for Congress.

Wednesday morning, our class began with the topic of what is an impeachable offense for a president.  After we discussed the criteria for when a president should be impeached, we discussed many of the major domestic & foreign policy issues that shaped Nixon’s first term.  We then got into two groups where students debated whether or not they thought women should be allowed in combat & whether the New York Times should have been allowed to public the Pentagon Papers in 1971.  We then watched Sam & Eddie role-play Richard Nixon & George McGovern during the 1972 election.  The students voted Nixon the winner of the 1972 ‘role-play’ debate.

After lunch we examined the major issues of Nixon’s 2nd term in addition to the Watergate scandal.  Students then went to the library to research the ‘United States v. Nixon’ court case.  Once the students returned to class we looked at the major events that shaped the brief presidency of Gerald Ford.  We ended today’s lesson by having each class member role-play the ‘United States v. Richard Nixon’ court case.  Students were assigned the role of an attorney, a Supreme Court judge, a witness or Richard Nixon.  Sam took on the role of Nixon as Sterling & Brock role-played two of the criminals in the Watergate break-in.  The Supreme Court judges were represented by Tiffany, Andrew, Eddie, Jack & Dina.  The prosecuting attorneys were Noemi, Izzy, & Lily.  Garrett took on the hard task of defending President Nixon.  The judges on our Supreme Court changed history by a count of 4 to 1 that President Nixon did not have to turn over the tapes.  This was the first time in VAMPY that President Nixon actually won the court case!

Wednesday night, during study hall students studied two famous court cases during the administrations of Richard Nixon & Gerald Ford that dealt with abortion & the death penalty.  The students read, discussed and answered critical thinking questions over ‘Roe v. Wade’, & ‘Gregg v. Georgia.’

Today, our class will role-play the 1976 presidential election between President Gerald Ford & Governor Jimmy Carter.  We will also examine the presidency of Jimmy Carter.  Students will also look at how historians rank Nixon, Ford & Carter in ten categories of presidential leadership.

Below are some of the pictures from some of the presidential elections & court cases that we role-play in class.

Dennis Jenkins

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