ABC News Returns to RVHS

Dr.+Harmon+and+Trevor+Ault+from+ABC+News

Dr. Harmon and Trevor Ault from ABC News

ABC News returned to Redbank Valley High School on Thursday, October 15,  to once again observe and  interview Dr. Joe Harmon’s eighth grade Civics class and cover Mr. Blane Gold’s AP Government’s school-wide mock election.   ABC News featured Redbank Valley High School on Nightline four years ago as part of their election coverage and intends to follow up that coverage with what they discover about students’ opinions and thoughts and how those opinions may have changed after four years of a Trump presidency.     

Although ABC News came to interview Redbank students, Ty Sherry, a writer for the student newspaper, The Bark, managed to secure an interview with Trevor Ault, ABC News correspondent, to discover more about the goals of Nightline and how traveling to Redbank fulfills those goals.  

Sherry: What is your overall goal in visiting Redbank Valley?

Ault: “My goal is to get a more comprehensive view on how Americans, and particularly American teenagers feel politically. Personally, I live in New York City. A lot of my colleagues are also in big cities, which can tend to in media coverage mean that you get the opinions of people that live in big cities.  Obviously, a lot of the country doesn’t live that way, so it is important to us to get out in a more rural environment and see what people think because America is very diverse in that way. It is also very helpful to connect to the school. We saw what it was like in 2016. To come back repeatedly and see how people evolve, as well as their opinions, is really helpful to assess a presidency.”

Sherry: What would be the topic on Nightline  be if you publish another video recapping your visit here?

Ault: “I think so far, having only done this discussion with the class, I think it’s going to be about how the teenagers here are very well informed. I was very impressed with what I learned talking to them. About how there opinions went beyond ‘Donald Trump good’ or ‘Joe Biden bad’ or anything in between. They were…they… they had nuance. They had specifics. They were well informed. And also they were very cordial and friendly. I know that a lot of places across the country people are very angry with each other. I was really impressed with the schools ability to have those conversations that are important and have healthy disagreements with each other. I think that is definitely going to be a big chunk of the piece. The rest of it will just be about reflecting what the community sort of believes.”

Sherry: Are you planning to interview some of the seniors that you spoke to in 2016?

Ault: “Yeah, so we have a handful of them to talk to from 2016, so we’re going to check back in, which is also really cool because we can see what the students thought then and ask them if they still think that. I’m sure some of the students will think the same thing. Some of them will change. I know if you asked me what I thought in 8th grade or what I thought as a senior, it’d be very different. That’s going to be really cool to kind of watch, to see how the students have evolved and also see how the school has evolved from the beginning of the presidents first term.”

Sherry: Why would you choose Redbank Valley and why come back?

Ault: “Well, we came back because we had such a great experience with everybody. It was very eye opening and illuminating the first time we were here. The school was fantastic and very friendly, as is Dr Harmon. It was a very easy decision for us, anytime the school will have us back, we will be happy to come back because there’s so much interesting information here. The people are very friendly and warm. We hope that we can be friendly and warm with them, too.”

Will Nighline’s final piece be “friendly and warm” to Redbank Valley, or will we be disappointed and face a social media backlash like 2016?    We will find out on Tuesday, October 20, at 11:30 PM, when Nightline airs.   

Article Update:

Nightline‘s coverage:

How students in battleground Pennsylvania view the presidential election now vs 2016

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