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Update: 9/11's Education-Related Moments, Remembered

Screen shot 2013-09-11 at 2.41.48 PMOn the 12th anniversary of 9/11, here are some education-related items that are worth mentioning again -- most of them from a 2011 post called  The Pet Goat, The 7 Minutes, The Kids Grown Up:

In Farenheit 9/11, Michael Moore showed us the video of the event during which the Commander In Chief seemed stunned and uncertain as the Twin Towers were being attacked. [video] 
Some of the kids who were there in the room told TIME in 2011 that they thought Bush had done the right thing staying there with them rather than rushing out.
The New Yorker then told us about the story (The Pet Goat) that students were reading.  
A SF blogger named Peter Smith had discovered the story was actually a reading exercise in a Direct Instruction textbook (text here).  
Now there's a pretty fascinating AP story about what happened that day in that school and what's happened to the educators and students -- now high school seniors --since then.
The Pet Goat now has a Wikipedia page, as does the school.  Image via Daily Beast.

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In my social studies methods class today, we talked about big events like 9/11 and what is appropriate to show students, yet keep them informed students. Its hard to encourage students to be informed, humanitarian, and civic minded people without discussing issues such as these. What is the balance between continually being the "safe teacher" in order to avoid controversy and what is too much for specific age groups of students?

9/11 was frightening for everyone but particularly for kids. I remember being in a class during the 9/11 events. Obviously it was a frightening experience not least of all because of the distress evident on our teacher’s face. The scenario I was in did differ significantly from that of the classroom in which President Bush was reading. The biggest difference between these two situations was that this class was for homeschoolers. Another difference between what I experienced and what these children had to go through is that my teacher was my mother. These differences actually increase my belief that 9/11 was particularly hard on children; if I was as terrified as I was on 9/11 even while I was with my mother I can only imagine how frightened these children were away from their homes and family.

I am not going to pretend to know what the President, or anyone else, should have done. I don’t have a strong opinion one way or the other on whether the President choosing to stay at the school was the right thing to do or not, if for no other reason than I simply don’t know all the facts. I also think that there were probably both advantages in staying and advantages in leaving. No matter what decision the President made there were certain to be people upset by it. Although there may not be a simple answer to whether the President should have stayed or left I do suspect that the president staying there may very well have helped reassure the kids there.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in This Week In Education are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.