9/11 -- St. Petersburg Times Special Report

Sunday, Sept. 1
  • Florida: Terror's launching pad
  • The 19 plotters and their day of terror
  • Remembering

    Monday, Sept. 2
  • When tragedy meets capitalism
  • '9/11 fatigue' is natural, mental health experts say

    Tuesday, Sept. 3
  • Coping as a kid
  • Eric Deggans: 9/11 documentary asks troubling questions about religion
  • Sept. 11 photograph exhibit opens

    Wednesday, Sept. 4
  • Millions in new funding don't guarantee security
  • Donations to local charities slow in months after attacks
  • Sept. 11 donations swamp charities
  • Bush to visit three attack sites on 9/11

    Thursday, Sept. 5
  • Attack anniversary is living history lesson
  • Trading fallback system improved
  • Future of site still beset by debate

    Friday, Sept. 6
  • Senate approves plan to allow armed pilots
  • Dream job becoming demoralizing
  • New plane doors would withstand gunfire
  • What ever happened to ... Those patriotic paint jobs?
  • The other 911
  • Consolidated for the cause

    Saturday, Sept. 7
  • In chaos, TIA tower controlled 9/11 skies
  • Congress, N.Y. reaffirm solidarity
  • Traveling can be nicer in rougher countries
  • For TIA workers, 'normal' not what it used to be
  • Airlines don't see relief over horizon
  • Terror only one blow to tourism
  • A year later, it's the home fires that burn brightly
  • Flying the flag

    Sunday, Sept. 8
  • 125 Cedar Street
  • The drama in Sarasota
  • Cautious, yes, but still traveling
  • As security increases, fervor fades
  • Rising risks
  • Finding lessons in rubble of tragedy
  • Public loss, private grief
  • Duty calls; he goes; they wait
  • Riled residents show true colors
  • Keeping her distance
  • Which way leads up?
  • For the record
  • 45 Questions
  • A lexicon of terror, post-9/11
  • Before attacks, this was the news
  • Other events on Sept. 11
  • Voice mail delivers, retains final words
  • Keeping us rolling
  • 9.11
  • How we'll view it

    Monday, Sept. 9
  • The residue of terror
  • Patriotism is more than emotion
  • What ever happened to . . .: Our religious fervor?
  • The nightmares return
  • Life has the right-of-way
  • Free to disagree
  • 'Time has not healed the pain'
  • Deputies to step up patrol for anniversary
  • Security upgrade since 9/11 slow, steady
  • Enthusiasm for PHCC's security classes dissipates
  • Teachers untangle Sept. 11 lessons
  • A bumpy year for business
  • The man who would have led Afghanistan
  • People who made the headlines

    Tuesday, Sept. 10
  • Multitude to gather to wave U.S. flags
  • Pictures evoke profound feelings
  • Attacks haven't boosted sales of cell phones
  • Schools discover ways to reflect on attacks
  • Flags still wave, but sales fall from peak
  • Three fathers lost
  • Telemarketers easing up on 9/11
  • Nuclear plant adds security layers to prevent terrorism
  • Cough, stress hinder emergency workers
  • Families of missing sit in limbo
  • Places of importance after the attacks

    Wednesday, Sept. 11
  • Remembrance and renewal
  • Flags Along the Bayshore: Tampa Remembers 9/11
  • Ways of remembering
  • A piece of paper . a blue and white truck
  • Is America ready for another attack?
  • Nation to honor victims in silence
  • Poll: Compassion remains
  • The war so far
  • Terror update
  • Attack on Iraq would test headquarters at MacDill
  • 09-11-01 Perspectives
  • Those who died in the attacks
  • Myriad rescue agencies trust their link won't fail
  • Photo gallery
  • (This Flash gallery requires the free Flash Player 5+.)

    Thursday, Sept. 12
  • Emotional service honors those who died selflessly
  • Elements of pride
  • Echo of 9/11 empties airport
  • A day full of tributes, flags and questions
  • Prayer, fellowship pull many through agonizing anniversary
  • Tributes great and small
  • Children in a changed world pause to reflect
  • Citrus recalls 9/11 with its heart
  • Marking the imponderable
  • Ministers assure that God was there that sorrowful day
  • Chime recalls a nation's losses
  • For law officers, day passes quietly
  • Residents gather to heal, remember
  • In big and small ways, our community pays tribute
  • Cities somberly mark Sept. 11
  • Patriotic display greets drivers
  • Day of grief, resolve
  • At county schools, remembrance resounds
  • Travel lags on attacks' anniversary
  • They were us
  • Americans worldwide cautious on anniversary
  • Radical Muslims discuss 'positive outcomes' of Sept. 11
  • Amid grief, Bush gives warning

  • printer version

    Attack anniversary is living history lesson

    Educators, publishers grapple with how to best teach youngsters about events surrounding 9/11.

    By MONIQUE FIELDS, Times Staff Writer
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published September 5, 2002

    [Times photo: James Borchuck]
    Westgate Elementary teacher Lu Ann Curran plans to stress how the country bonded rather than what was torn apart.
    Last Sept. 12, Lu Ann Curran talked with the 6- and 7-year-olds seated before her.

    "Something terrible happened to the United States," the first-grade teacher said. "Does anybody know what happened?"

    Some of her students at St. Petersburg's Westgate Elementary School knew about the terrorist attacks the day before. Others did not.

    "Will they come here?" one child asked.

    Curran was careful not to lie.

    "We don't know," she said.

    She may have a similar conversation Wednesday, the first anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

    Textbook publishers, editors of children's magazines and teachers face the same question: What is the best way to discuss the event with students?

    Curran will stand before another set of first-graders Wednesday and let them lead the discussion. She will nod at their true comments and discourage false statements. She plans to focus on how the country bonded rather than what was torn apart.

    "My feeling is that we need to teach them that we are proud to be Americans," she said. "You want them to grasp that the world is a positive place."

    School district officials agree.

    "Emphasize the positive" is the third guideline Pinellas County schools offered for memorials and suggested activities for teachers to use in their classrooms. Pinellas schools also may use a prepackaged morning announcement designed to encourage respect, courage and caring. In Pasco County, there are a set of lesson plans available to teachers. Hillsborough teachers will make the decisions individually about how to address the anniversary of the attacks.

    Soon districts will be able to turn to textbooks for some guidance.

    At 8:48 a.m., an American Airlines passenger jet crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center, a section in a Holt, Rinehart and Winston textbook begins. The impact was devastating, as though a bomb had struck the 110-story building.

    "We wanted to be able to tell the story of what happened in a very straightforward way," said Steven Hayes, executive editor of social studies for the book publisher.

    Editors paid a lot of attention to which images would be included in the middle school textbook. They decided not to use photos of the towers on fire. Instead they chose a photo of the Statue of Liberty as smoke clouded downtown Manhattan, a trio of firefighters raising the American flag and a photo showing a man as he passed in front of a NASDAQ billboard relating the daily market downturn.

    "We certainly didn't want to include anything that seemed sensational," Hayes said. "That seemed the absolutely wrong thing to do."

    Magazines have been addressing the issue for a year.

    At Scholastic, a publisher of magazines for every age group, the Sept. 6 issue of Scholastic, designed for students in grades 1-6, focuses on how America has changed in the past year. The design of the page is colorful, playful. Red, white and blue letters spell "Americans" while others, outlined in white, spell "Stand Together."

    The same story appears in Junior Scholastic, published for middle school students. The layout is more sophisticated and features a picture of two bright beams of light where the World Trade Center towers once stood. By contrast, Upfront, the magazine for high school students, features a cover story about teenagers who lost their family, their homes and their sense of security.

    "It's news for the sake of education," said David Goddy, vice president and publisher of Scholastic Classroom Magazines. The goal, he said, is to foster lively classroom discussion, not mimic or parrot the media.

    [Times photo: James Borchuck]
    Last year's terrorist attacks are discussed in educational magazines. The content is varied to match the maturity of each age group.

    The decisions about what is appropriate at what age are reflected throughout the magazines. An issue for third-graders doesn't show any burning buildings, but one for fourth-graders does.

    Fourth grade is a key developmental year. It's when young people take more of an interest in math and reading, Goddy said. It's also when they "take more interest in the outside world."

    Middle school students will receive a more in-depth view of that day's events.

    Those who attend Monroe Middle School in Tampa will be presented with a challenge to tolerate and accept other cultures.

    Seventh-grade teachers there will create a display for the media center. The display will include large boxes illustrating the traditional style of dress of countries around the world.

    "We're not the only people in the world," said Terrasa Rafferty, a seventh-grade teacher at Monroe. "We are a member of the whole world, and we interact with others whether these kids realize it or not."

    Wednesday will be a day of reflection at Seven Springs Middle School in New Port Richey in Pasco County. Students there will answer a series of questions about what happened. Then each of the 1,700 students will write about how that day affected them, the country and the world. All the cards will be sealed in a capsule and buried for 10 years.

    The event will happen at the beginning of the day and last for about 15 or 20 minutes.

    "I think education is a big process," said Paula Lesko, who teaches U.S. history at Seven Springs, "and this is only one aspect of their education."

    High school has few restrictions on what can be taught in the corners of a classroom. At Dunedin High School, Alan Kay won't dwell on the images of Sept. 11 and the burning towers. He won't display his emotion or his anger. But he wants his students to understand the horror of that day.

    "If you don't really discuss the horror of it all, the terror we felt, then you're telling the students who felt horror and terror that their feelings aren't justified," Kay said.

    He will start a discussion and see where his students take it. He will try to put his students in the shoes of an American in the World Trade Center and the shoes of an Arab. From there, they can decide what to make of the event.

    "If they have a new opinion, it's one they formed on their own and can defend," he said.

    Young people have a lot of questions about the other side of the story.

    "What about us frustrates them? Why would they attack civilians rather than the military? What do we do in our country that affects them so that they would want to attack?"

    Those are just three questions 17-year-old Jonathan Quigley has about last Sept. 11.

    "We've only learned one thing, or one side of every story, and a lot of the time it's just the American side."

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