ODESSA, Texas — The inauguration of a president and transfer of power ceremonies are a common topic within history classes, especially during election years, but teachers at Odessa High School say this year's ceremony happens to be unique in several ways.
"It’s a historic day, always," said Anita Merrifield, OHS social studies chair and government, AP government teacher.
Inauguration day is a day when we get to see democracy at it's core.
"Major government events we pause to see," Merrifield said.
Today, for the first time the transfer of power coincided with a global pandemic and just days after a riot took place at the capitol.
In the midst of it all, there were no crowds gathered like is typical.
Anita Merrifield teaches social studies and government at Odessa High School. She, like many Americans, watched the events on a screen and she took the opportunity to teach her class an important lesson.
"To show, like they’ve all been showing all of the former presidents and leaders of congress and some supreme court justices milling about, talking, enjoying themselves regardless of what party they belong to, they’re all there getting along and being happy together at this occasion and we need to see more of that," Merrifield said.
A message deemed so important, that Merrifield had her government students following along the entire process every Wednesday.
"It’s pretty interesting because I never got to experience or see how they tell the president that you’re actually the president now. I just hear on the news or from my parents," Kheeauna Lide, OHS senior said.
Students like Kheeauna will continue to dive deep into the democratic process during their spring semester.
At Midland ISD officials say they handed out materials with ideas for possible lesson plans about Inauguration Day, but it was ultimately up to each teacher to decide whether or not they wanted to show the inauguration events.