Archive for Wednesday, September 19, 2001

Students, teachers cope with effects from attacks

September 19, 2001

Last week's tragedy continues to touch lives at Tonganoxie schools.

Sixth-grade students at Tonganoxie Elementary School this week are turning in their first drafts of letters they're writing to sixth-graders in New York City, said teacher Laurie Bottenfield.

After the letters have been edited, they will be printed on red white and blue paper.

Also, Bottenfield said, teachers are encouraging students to write in their journals about the Sept. 11 terrorism against the United States.

"They're writing about what they remember from last week," Bottenfield said.

"They're writing what they remember about the actual event, how they felt, what their parents talked to them about and how we should deal with it."

At Tonganoxie Junior High School, students in Denise LaRosh's leadership class decided Friday morning that they would organize a memorial service for that afternoon.

They decided to hold it outside around the school's flag pole and to start with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Eighth-grade student Derek Tice read a poem he wrote about the acts of terrorism and the high school chorus led the students in singing God Bless America.

Steve Woolf, TJHS principal, said he was proud of the leadership class for planning the service.

"It's really neat," Woolf said. "You always worry do junior high kids get it the importance of being patriotic, the privilege we have of being born in this fine nation you just don't know if kids really get it, or for that matter if anybody really gets it when something like this happens."

LaRosh said she is concerned about the students.

"Kids are looking to us for answers," LaRosh said. "I don't know that we have any answers but I think the way we approach this our view of the world and the things that we say about what's happening is definitely going to color their view of it."

LaRosh said she thinks all adults need to be aware that children are looking to them for the right answers.

At Tonganoxie High School, Mike Bogart, principal, said the student council has talked about starting a drive to raise money to send to New York City to help victims of last week's attacks on the World Trade Center.

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