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Redbank Valley Students’ Opinions on Impeachment Hearings Featured on ABC Nightline

Tuesday, November 26, 2019 @ 12:11 AM

Posted by Blane Gold

NEW BETHLEHEM, Pa. (EYT) – For the third time in as many years, a film crew from ABC’s Nightline was roaming the halls of Redbank Valley High School.

The award-winning ABC news show first visited New Bethlehem in 2016 when Terry Moran descended upon Redbank Valley High School to witness how Dr. Joe Harmon was handling the controversial issues within the 2016 election in his eighth grade classroom.

Nightline also captured the high school’s mock election that was being conducted prior to the nation’s general election.

Fast forward a little more than three years later, it was a separate Nightline producer who paid a visit to the school to once again see how Harmon was handling a separate controversial issue in his classroom: President Trump’s impeachment hearings.

For Dr. Harmon, what began as a stab in the dark in attempting to fill ABC’s request to film a rural school in a swing state prior to the 2016 election, has turned into an opportunity for Redbank Valley School District to have a national stage in which to display their students.

“Initially, I was connected through iCivics.com,” explained Harmon. “They were pitching an idea of doing a story of their game-based learning platform, ‘Win the Whitehouse.’ ABC News was interested in this, and wanted a rural school in a swing state. So, they connected me with them and the rest is history.”


In between the 2016 visit and last Friday’s broadcast was a 2017 visit in which Good Morning America’s Dan Harris paid a visit to learn more about the students’ overwhelming support of President Trump. This segment aired as a part of Nightline’s coverage of Trump’s first one hundred in office.

While the 2016 and 2017 visit displayed much excitement and celebration for Trump, last week’s visit from ABC gave students the opportunity to both critique and defend the President on a national stage. Nightline had their camera’s rolling as a collection of eighth grade students watched and discussed segments of the more than 30 hours of impeachment hearings conducted by the United States House of Representatives.

Discussing items such as why an investigation into the Bidens in 2020 could benefit Trump; outlining the impeachment process that is shared between the House and the Senate; and even arguing whether someone can accurately overhear a conversation via phone when the speaker phone function is not being used, Nightline’s segment showcased Harmon’s eighth grade students’ reactions to testimonies from Fiona Hill, former director for Europe and Russia at the NSC; David Holmes, a U.S. diplomat in Ukraine; and EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland.

Nightline also paid a visit to Barrett Farms outside of New Bethlehem to join Seth Barrett (a student in Harmon’s class) and his family for dinner to discuss the true feelings that those living and working in rural America have towards the President.

The full Nightline segment aired on November 21st.

For those that have enjoyed the local area being showcased in the national media, Harmon says to stay tuned as ABC has already tentatively planned a return visit to the area.

“They have loved coming here and want to come back for the 2020 election.”

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