[ti:‘Teachable Moment’: Impeachment]
[00:00.04]For just the fourth time in U.S. history, lawmakers are holding public hearings
[00:07.92]to debate the possible impeachment of an American president.
[00:13.80]The U.S. Constitution describes "impeachment"
[00:17.97]as a way for lawmakers in the House of Representatives
[00:21.96]to charge a government official with a crime.
[00:25.86]If they do, lawmakers in the Senate hold a trial
[00:31.18]to decide whether to remove the official from office.
[00:35.60]Since 1788, when the Constitution was adopted,
[00:41.81]only three other U.S. presidents faced impeachment.
[00:47.43]None has been removed from office.
[00:51.60]Official public hearings will begin Wednesday.
[00:55.60]Witnesses already have testified to several committees in closed-door hearings.
[01:02.49]They said they were concerned the president withheld
[01:06.76]Congressional-approved military aid to Ukraine
[01:10.46]in exchange for information on his political opponent, Joe Biden.
[01:16.50]The president and his government deny wrongdoing,
[01:20.58]and have not agreed to requests for documents and witness interviews.
[01:27.09]Around the country, schools are using the impeachment investigation
[01:33.27]as a "teachable moment" for students.
[01:36.63]At a rural North Carolina high school, the fifteen-and sixteen-year-olds
[01:42.71]in Aedrin Albright's civics class had done their homework.
[01:47.51]They had read about impeachment in news stories.
[01:52.04]Now it was time to decide: Should President Donald Trump be impeached?
[01:59.68]Students pulled their chairs across the room.
[02:02.96]The three who supported impeachment sat on one side.
[02:07.71]The fifteen students who opposed it sat on the other.
[02:12.08]The ten undecided students were in the middle.
[02:16.49]"Your job is to try to persuade your classmates in here
[02:20.48]to come to your side, to your understanding,"
[02:24.18]Albright told the teenagers at Chatham Central High School.
[02:28.56]Albright asked students to make their arguments
[02:32.24]using the news stories they had read.
[02:35.10]They could change sides, and the undecideds were urged to choose one.
[02:42.08]Overall, the discussion went well, Albright said.
[02:47.00]The anti-impeachment side gained three more students.
[02:51.91]One student joined her pro-impeachment classmates.
[02:55.96]And six students remained undecided.
[03:00.07]Their mock votes show the political divisions across the country.
[03:05.44]Voters in the area around the school mostly supported Trump in the 2016 election.
[03:13.92]Another area nearby voted for his opponent, Hillary Clinton.
[03:19.45]And many Americans – and lawmakers –
[03:23.28]already have strong opinions about the president
[03:27.35]and are unlikely to change their beliefs.
[03:31.23]In another area of the country, St. Paul, Minnesota,
[03:35.94]Mark Westpfhal teaches at the Capitol Hill Gifted and Talented School.
[03:42.09]The school is located in "an extremely liberal" area, he said.
[03:47.67]Most of his students support Trump's impeachment and removal from office.
[03:53.78]In September, Westpfhal put together a three-day impeachment lesson
[03:59.45]for the twelve- and thirteen-year-olds in his American studies class.
[04:04.76]He required his students to differentiate between what they believe
[04:10.53]and what they know about the president's actions.
[04:14.87]They were "quick to argue that he has done so many illegal things," Westpfhal said.
[04:20.52]"But when I asked them to describe the things he has done
[04:24.73]and how those things violated the law, they slowed down a little."
[04:30.72]Westpfhal often brings current events into his lesson plans.
[04:35.12]He said his class discusses "how emotion and partisanship"
[04:40.64]can dictate, or control, people's views.
[04:44.86]I'm Kelly Jean Kelly. 更多聽力請訪問51VOA.COM