Archive for Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Soldiers impart lessons to THS students

November 21, 2006

Six officers from Fort Leavenworth's Command and General Staff College recently visited with Tonganoxie High School students.

The officers talked about the global war on terrorism and the war in Iraq. And they talked to the social studies students about what they can do to become more aware of world events.

As one of the officers said, there's more to what's going on than what is shown on a 30-second television news broadcast.

"It's important to empower you to think critically, not just to think about what the media is showing," said one of the officers.

Students listened attentively as the officers spoke. And then they raised their hands. Questions during one of the sessions ranged from "How long will be in Iraq?" to "What does the United Nations have to do with the war?"

A few of the students said they planned to go into the military. THS senior Jessica Herrington plans to enter the Air Force after she graduates from high school.

"I just learned a lot of what's going on in Iraq and all that," Herrington said. "It caught me up a little bit."

Sophomore Bailey Dunning said the information the officers presented -- such as seeing U.S. flags in Iraqi classrooms -- was positive.

Her friend, Katelyn Kerbaugh, also a sophomore, said, "All you usually hear is negative stuff."

THS social studies teacher John Jacques said the day went well.

"It felt like the kids were very inquisitive," he said. "They asked a lot of good questions, and the majors that were there provided a lot of good answers that every-day civilians like us can't answer all the time because we're not there."

Most important, the THS teacher said, the 280 students who sat in on the sessions asked tough questions, something necessary to critical thinking.

"They asked about the justification of the war, whether or not we're succeeding," Jacques said.

The officers spoke openly with the students.

"They did a good job of not forcing their opinion but asked that the students listen, gain information from a variety of sources and use critical thinking," Jacques said.

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