Our Children About Terrorism
This article is
written from the perspective of the parent, but the hints
are usable by anyone. If your child was in school on
Tuesday, September 11, 2001 or anywhere near a television during the
following days, they probably had many questions about what
happened at the World Trade Center in New York City and at
the Pentagon in Washington D.C.
As a parent, educator and an American, I personally
find it difficult to deal with the events, even now. Often times, underlying reasons might be keeping our
children from asking us the questions they really need to have
- Why did those planes hit the World Trade
- Why did the plane hit the Pentagon?
- Why did all those people die?
- Why did the plane go down in
- Why don't those people like us?
- What is the Taliban?
- Who is Osama Bin Laden?
- Did I do anything wrong?
- What's a terrorist?
- What's ground zero?
- Why are all the flags flying?
- Why are we at war?
- Am I going to die?
- Are they going to take some more of our
- Are we going to move?
- How can a small group or one man do this?
Unfortunately, I can only give you
suggestions for a few of these questions.
Terrorists are bad people who decide to do
something mean and ugly to hurt or kill a lot of innocent people.
Sometimes they do it to get attention and other times they do it to
hurt people who are different or believe something different from them.
Ground zero is the place at which an
explosion occurs. The spot that it happens.
You will have to decide what to say to the
young people in your lives about the other questions, but maybe the
two definitions could be a beginning.
The Taliban is currently the ruling party
Osma Bin Laden is a Muslim with some
extremist viewpoints about many things. He does not appear to
like the United States very much.
If your child has not asked any questions,
take the initiative to begin some dialog.
Burrell, Ed. D. Dr. Burrell has a doctorate in Historical
Social Cultural Foundations. Her program emphasis was
Multicultural Education. She is the owner of her own diversity
company. Follow this link to see what they have to offer:
Teaching Our Children Emergency School Safety?
In the wake of recent
events we must all take some time and think about school safety in a
different arena. As I listened to the teachers share some heroic
stories of how they aided young people near ground zero, I felt the
need to ask some teachers about pointers for school safety.
Here are a few of the most important
- Know the emergency plan(s) for your
school. There may be different plans for different types of
emergencies. NOTE: If neighborhood schools do not have regular practice
school drills, find out why. Parents
insist your child's school have some type of emergency plans in
place for various disasters. You must also make sure they
have practice drills at least once a month. This goes
for day care centers as well, everybody. Accidents can happen
anywhere, including your job or home.
- Know the layout of the facility.
A map with the emergency exits should be posted in each
classroom. The nearest exit should be clearly marked with a
uniform color in each classroom. These layouts should be
laminated and in a place so that all people can easily see
- Be quiet! You need to be able to
hear what is being
said to you.
- Lend a hand to those who might need it
if you can.
- Follow adult directions the first time
they are given to you.
- Try to find a trustworthy partner among
your classmates to walk with you.
- Don't run unless specifically told to
do so by an adult in charge.
- Stay with your teacher if at all
- If you have a cell phone, once out of
danger, make a quick call to notify someone you are okay and tell
them to notify others. Then GET OFF THE LINE and STAY OFF.
If the danger passes and you are still too
shaken up to perform, see if you parents will allow you to have an
early dismissal. Then go home, discuss your problems with your
parents and rest. This is not mall time nor movie
Teachers should consider assigning a
responsible student or two to help in emergencies with parental
consent. When I was a practicing teacher, the line leader was
the person and this job rotated from week to week. Line leader
was a privilege and those who did not take the responsibility
seriously would have the privilege taken away.
Parents, speak to your children about the
importance of following adult directions in general, but emphasize
the importance of doing so even more during an emergency.
Neta F. Burrell, M.Ed. has a Bachelors in
Cultural Studies K-9 and a Masters in Behavior
Disorders. She has been an educator for over twenty
years. She is currently a 4th grade teacher in
Charlotte Smith, has owned her own day
care center Pitter Patter for several years. She shared some
of the things she felt are especially important in working with
younger children. Pitter Patter is located in Texas.