How much do FNH students know about the Impeachment trial?


Results from Question 1 of the survey

Impeachment. The odds are that you’ve heard something relative to the breaking story in the past month and a half are incredibly high. The Impeachment trial of President Donald J. Trump has swarmed around news media everywhere and become a hot topic in the United States. But, how much does the average teen know about the trial? Basic knowledge is expected when thinking about something so critical to the success and well being of our country. However, some results of a survey sent out to the student body may shock you.
With 131 responses, there was bound to be some diversity amongst results. The first question, “Do you know why our President is being impeached?” brought in 64.9 percent of responses being “Yes”, and 35.1 percent being “No.” Having over half of the students with basic knowledge was not surprising in a politically engaged student body. With today’s media, it has to be difficult to not have a small amount of knowledge under your belt. However, 35.1 percent of students still responded no. Why is this? Some students just don’t pay attention or don’t care, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
The second question in the survey elaborated on the first question. If students claimed that they had knowledge about the trial, what was their knowledge? How much did they really know? Most responses were pinned with the answers “abuse of power,” or “obstruction of power and justice,” which yes, these answers are correct. President Trump’s trial began around the idea that he had committed abuse of power by contacting Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Trump’s political rival, Joe Biden. Most students who responded had, at the bare minimum, information as to why the trial began. There were few, if any students who were off or incorrect in their responses.
With just about anything, people could swing one of three ways. Either you agree with something, you don’t, or you just can’t decide. Going off of this, the next question asked the students of their opinions on the trial. 24.4 percent of students agree with the trial and believe that it is fair.
“(So), he can get up to ten years in prison for all he’s done. Like for example, extortion by officers and employees of the United States, which is abuse of power.” said junior Abigail Sebille.
Students who agreed with a fair trial often gave valid reasons as to why the trial is happening, however most students gave factual evidence, rather than opinion.
“He can’t pressure the Ukranian president to pursue investigations on your opponents in the United States, like you just can’t do that,” said junior Layla Nicoloff.
Next, 27.5 percent of students disagree with the trial and believe that it is unfair.
“Yes, I think that the impeachment is unfair, because he did not break any laws or abuse any power. People just don’t like him, because he’s a ‘sexist, racist, pig.’ There is nothing that he did wrong except do his job how he wanted to do it.” said freshman Lucas Deboer.
“Some of the most prominent being that almost all of the senators, due to vote on whether or not the president should be removed from office, are very partisan towards the left or the right. They won’t vote based on the evidence given, they’ll vote purely based on the political party they were voted into,” said junior Summer Czarnowski.
In contrast to those who agreed with the trial being fair, most people who disagreed gave opinion based responses.
After analyzing the data collected from students, it can be concluded that more knowledge most often creates stronger opinions amongst students, and vice versa. However, I did see that those with stronger opinions possibly were not as knowledgeable. Whichever way you look at it, I believe that it is safe to say that the student body of Fargo North High School has a pretty strong knowledge base, as well as some pretty strong opinions, especially about our current president.