Students Claim Teacher Made Them Draw Violent Sept. 11 Pictures (VIDEO)

Say What!? 13

911 pictureWe all have different ways of marking September 11. It's a good day for reflecting on gratitude and sacrifice. But for some elementary students in Texas, it was a day to draw horrific, violent pictures of the actual terrorist attack. According to parents, the teacher gave students explicit instructions to color pictures showing "the boom cloud, the planes hitting, and people jumping out of the windows," as one student put it.

Drawings included depictions of people jumping out of burning buildings, with captions like, "Help," "I love you," and, "One way ticket to heaven." Oh no -- how is this at all educational? But it gets even worse: The teacher told the children, "The Afghans did this because they hate us and want to kill all of us." This was terrifying news to one student, whose father expects to be deployed to Afghanistan at the end of the year.

What a sick, misguided 9/11 lesson for those poor kids!

Needless to say the lesson was emotionally traumatic for some of the kids. The girl whose father is headed to Afghanistan now thinks he's sure to die there. Another child left with the idea that these terrorist attacks happen every 9/11 and was afraid to leave his house the next day. The parents now want a counselor to talk with the class and put everything into context -- the context the teacher should have provided in the first place!

The teacher says it was all just part of a class discussion and the kids were drawing what they learned -- but what they learned was completely inappropriate. TMI, teacher! TMI. At least the school has issued an apology and is looking into the incident.

EPISD [El Paso Independent School District] is very concerned about the images that were drawn in response to a lesson on the events of September 11. District and campus administrators are investigating the specific assignment and are interviewing the personnel involved. We regret the insensitivity that this action may have caused and wish to assure our community that we will act swiftly in this matter and will take any and all appropriate action. We extend our sincere apologies.

You regret the insensitivity? That's putting it lightly. But of course, the kids can't un-learn all the scary images the teacher put into their heads. I think everyone in America eventually sees those photographs and hears the awful stories. It's important for kids to learn what happened that day -- in an age-appropriate way. But there's no need to traumatize them at so young an age. And the racist way the teacher painted an entire nation of people -- that's just jaw-dropping. I hope that's not what she really said, but I've heard people say some crazy things, so it wouldn't surprise me.


What would you do if your fourth-grader came home with 9/11 drawings like these?


Image via KFOXTV

education, elementary school, in the news


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douxm... douxmusique

I wouldn't care. And my husband deploys to Afghanistan. It's true. They do hate us.

bills... billsfan1104

Those 4th graders see far worse on the internet and on TV.

We need to stop sugar coating that they did to us.

AniAngel AniAngel

Who is "they", I know who attacked and I'm comfortable with my kids being taught the hard truths but you can't place blame on an entire country.

shesl... shesliketx

This is what disturbs me (just as equally as the whole incident). El Paso is home to Fort Bliss, the Army Post. Thus, many kids in schools there are Army brats. How on earth does giving an assignment like this seem like a good idea? Especially when some of these kids have 1 or both parents deployed or possibly deploying to Afghanistan? Good god.

bills... billsfan1104

Ani, they are "the terrorists". I am not talking about the whole country

Shes, my sister is married to a soldier. I am an Army Brat. I was taught from a very young age, my father could go to war and not come back. My sisters kids are taught that too. It is sad and tough, but they need to know the truth.

shesl... shesliketx

I am married to an active duty infantry-man.

I would never tell my children that a whole country hates americans. I don't believe that is true. I do feel that if a parent chose to inform their child of such a thing, that is their right. It is not the right of a teacher. This assignment was inappropriate

kisse... kisses5050

"But of course, the kids can't un-learn all the scary images the teacher put into their heads" I hope they can't I hope they carry it with for them life. I am so tired of people being afraid of teaching children things that may make them a bit uncomfortable.... my child sat in class with kids who laughed at images of the holocaust! laughed! because at 12 they had never been taught about pain or suffering. These were the same kids on 9/11 who said "stupid people" out loud to the footage of people leaping from windows. Kids need to learn they need to be taught that Hate is out there and it can be aimed at them and freedom is something they need to protect...and horrors are real.

ashhh... ashhhes16

Honeslty IMO thats to far and the teach SHOULD lose her job. I mean if my kid had to draw somthing like that i'd be VERY upset. I mean 4th graders are what 11 and 12? They were just BABIES when it happend my brother was born april of 2001 so he was only 5 months old when it happen!! i dont even think they mentioned anything! I mean YES it should be talked about in history but really?! This is WAY WAY to far!!!

Tendr... TendrelovinMaMa

I think some of you are forgetting these are children and their brains are at very different developmental stages than an adults. Yes they should know but in an appropriate manner that is good for that age grow. Would you let your little one watch a person being murdered? Or you having sex? I hope not.

I agree with you sheliketx.

nonmember avatar teach

I teach younger children and we talk about September 11th, but in a manner that is age appropriate. The dept. of education in NY has an entire site dedicated to educating children about Sept. 11th, complete with resources for teachers. They provide age appropriate explanations and images that are meant to inform, not scare. The kids always have a great deal of questions (why? did people die? did things explode?) It is hard for them to feel sadness or sympathy because they are so far removed from the situation, but even 5 year olds are capable of understanding and participating in a discussion on the topic. I have had students try and make the twin towers in block center after we had our talk and I am sure there are students who may go home and draw pictures of what they imagine (We never show graphic images, only a pic of the towers so the kids knew what they looked like and there was one image that showed the smoke billowing). We encourage them to talk to their parents for more information, but I am truly saddened year after year when I ask if anyone has heard of Sept. 11 and I see 0 hands raised.

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