Saturday, September 10, 2011

What do your kids know about 9/11

This is not my usual type of post.  It is not a review of a book.  Thursday at school I presented a slideshow to my students of pictures I had taken at ground zero 10 months after 9/11.  Although many of my students were knowledgeable about the events, I was shocked by how many had false knowledge or no knowledge.

As a teacher and parent it was important for me to discuss those events with my children.  It is just as important today for parents to discuss those events.  Here is a smattering of how my students replied when asked what they knew about 9/11.

Student one:  "Bush blew up the twin towers then blamed terrorists for it."
Student two:  "The Pentagon got hit too?"
Student three:  "Planes hit the towers?  I thought someone shot missiles or threw bombs in there."
Student four:  "What happened on 9/11?"
Student five:  As I was showing the pictures she asked, "did this just happen a couple of days ago?"

This is scary.  It is not taught in our curriculum.  Teachers are afraid of scaring the children or they think it is the responsibility of the parents.  We've left it to the parents and this is what we have.  True, most of my students were about age 2 when it happened.  Where have the parents been since that time?  They allow them to watch "R" rated movies and MTV but think that 9/11 news footage would be too much?  These kids are our future.  It is time someone stands up and teaches our kids what is going on in the world.  Don't leave it up to the teachers then complain when they can't fit it all in.

I asked my students to talk about the pics I had shown and reflect on how pictures are used, and the emotions they bring out.  I asked them to go to the memorial site and look at it then write a letter to a friend explaining what happened on 9/11.  I was one  of two teacher at my school who did something.  How do I know this?  We were asked to let administration know what our plans were so they could let the county know.  The other teacher created a beautiful fence reminder using plastic cups. Knowing her I am sure she has mentioned the events of 9/11.  I invited administration and teachers to come sit in on my class.  I had one administrator, one teacher and a guest and I asked them to share with the students as well.

As I told my students, "You must learn the facts because you are our future.  If you don't learn from these events then we can expect to repeat history."

So I ask you:  What do your kids know about 9/11?

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