Miami High School teacher gets to attend impeachment trial

Richard Patterson

MIAMI, Okla. – As the impeachment trial continues in Washington, one local history teacher got to bring a special lesson home to his students.

The impeachment trial, we’ve all been watching the coverage on TV, but one history teacher in Miami had the opportunity to see it in person. Richard Patterson says “About two weeks ago, Oklahoma Senator Lankford called our school district office, talked to the superintendent, and said he had a ticket available if we had a teacher that would be interested in going.”

Patterson says he’s been to Washington a time or two before, but, it’s still a surreal place to visit, even the senate chamber. “It’s not really very big, you know, it only has to hold 100, so it’s not that big a room as what you might think when you first get in there.”

His ticket got him ‘VIP’ seating in the gallery and for Patterson, this was a first, and a very unique experience. “Just all of these senators that you’re familiar with and that you’ve seen and then the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court comes in and it’s just kinda a goose bump type of situation it was truly amazing.”

But as an educator for the last 18 years in Miami, he says it goes beyond just the stardom of being in the senate, it becomes a living lesson he can bring back to his students. “This is only the third time it’s ever happened, once a century in our history, so yea it’s pretty easy to set the partisanship aside and think about the significance and how it will be looked at compared to later on in history.”

And having been there in person, amplifies the story he can tell. “You know, when you can say the time I was there at the impeachment hearing, or when I was walking through the Library of Congress, it just really builds the credibility with the kids, makes it a lot more real to them.”

Patterson attended the trial over the weekend.