Fourth grade students in Hughey Elementary School in El Paso, Texas were assigned to draw pictures of the September 11 attacks. The students were told to “draw the boom clouds, the planes hitting the towers, and people jumping out of windows,” by their teacher who also told the students that “the Afghans did this because they hate all of us and want to kill all of us.” One student was so scared by the assignment that he believed the tragedy reoccurred every year and refused to leave his house to go to school on 9/11. I fully understand that teaching children about 9/11 is important, but this is so extreme and the children are so young to be taught such violence. It’s hard enough to explain death to a child, I can’t imagine how these parents had to explain someone trying to deliberately hurt thousands of people and for the teacher to target a certain group of people just teaches the youth hatred. Read more below.
Hughey Elementary School Parents in El Paso, Texas are furious over a questionable class assignment that asked students to draw pictures depicting the September 11 terrorist attacks.
According to KDBC, the fourth graders were told specifically to “draw the boom clouds, the planes hitting the towers, and people jumping out of windows.”
“That’s something that kids should get in trouble for drawing,” parent Ivie Gremillion told KFOX-TV. “That’s people being murdered, committing suicide.”
Student drawings portrayed the heart-wrenching images, some with speech bubbles saying, “help,” “I love you” and “one way ticket to heaven.” Gremillion tells KFOX-TV that the classroom teacher also told her students that “the Afghans did this because they hate all of us and want to kill all of us.”
One student, Gremillion says, was under the impression that the tragedy occurs every September 11 and was too afraid to leave his house to go to school.
In a statement, El Paso Independent School District said they are investigating the allegations. From KDBC:
“EPISD is very concerned about the images that were drawn in response to a lesson on the events of September 11th. 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.”
A similar incident in California sparked outrage in June, when a student-made sign at Fresno’s Hamilton Elementary School depicted Jesus with a caption reading, “I want you to kill all the infidels” and “meet me in Jerusalem, get a free ticket to heaven.”
The sign was made by a seventh-grade student as part of an assignment for a history unit on the Crusades. The term “infidel” was used at the time to describe those not of the Christian faith and being targeted for conversion.