The halls at Stonington High School were empty Thursday, but the discussion in the digital classroom was vibrant.
"Just the shock...like, I can't believe this is happening right now," said Rachel Fretard, a sophomore at Stonington High School, reacting to the riot at the US Capitol Wednesday.
"It is something important and something that we will remember," added Molly Neale, a junior at Stonington.
Following the pro-Trump riot, Stonington High School's AP American Government class had a lot to talk about Thursday morning.
“This is our future. This is for all of us. And our eyes are open," said Molly Joe, a senior in the class.
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Their teacher, Michael Freeman, has been teaching social studies for more than 30 years. As he watched rioters force their way into the Capitol, he said that he knew it was something he could not ignore in the classroom.
“You can’t run away from history," said Freeman.
Students in the class told NBC Connecticut that they were thankful for the ability to sort through the facts, discuss the historical context, and reflect.
“It just helps process," said Diya Patel, a sophomore.
“I don’t get the chance to talk about this stuff a lot so it was very important to be able to just discuss what happened," said Fretard.
Freeman said that the discussion won't stop here for the class.
“I want to reassure them through the rest of the year, it is a year long class, that this is an anomaly," said Freeman. "It is not how patriotic Americans normally act and there is still hope. Our democracy is fragile, but even an event like this can be learned from.”
The students said they are eager to continue the conversation.
“We are listening. We do understand," said Alex Canty, a sophomore.
“We really are trying to learn and observe what is happening so we can make the best decisions we can when it comes to be our time to be in charge," said Fretard.