How do you feel about the killing of Osama bin Laden? Do you think it was justified? Why or why not? Was there another way the U.S. could have handled this? How do you think al-Qaida will respond?
Those were among the journal questions Tokay High School social science teacher Matt Huiras presented to students Monday.
“I devoted my day to this topic in all of my classes, as it pertains to, obviously, U.S. history, but also my geography classes, as we study
religion and have just finished studying the primarily Islamic regions of southwest Asia and North Africa.”
He was among a number of local school teachers who worked the international news into their daily lessons.
At the middle school level, one of Martha Snider’s Christa McAuliffe students sent her a cell phone text late Sunday when the news of bin Laden’s death broke on a major news network.
“A few students and I talked about the event in passing Monday,” Snider said, adding that she shared the student’s text with another student in her first-period class who was asking Snider if she had seen the news.
“As far as fanfare for a 10-year mission being accomplished, it has gone pretty much unnoticed by my students and I otherwise,” she said.
Huiras said class discussions were rich and, for the most part, very similar despite course or age level.
“An overwhelming majority felt (death of bin Laden) was the only way, and it was justified. Only about two or three kids in my first four periods thought that he should not be killed, but rather imprisoned for life,” he said. “Many kids have pointed out that normally they abhor killing, but this time they agree, because of the severity of what he did.”
Although some of his students had just started kindergarten on Sept. 11, 2001, a few brought up the families of the victims who died and the closure that they had, according to Huiras.
“It has been an excellent day for me, as most of my students usually have no idea what is going on in the world,” he said.
Snider, a U.S. Army veteran, pointed out that military heroes complete missions daily, whether they’re small or very large as the bin Laden killing. She said troops don’t expect a lot of hoopla and fanfare for completing a mission, no matter how long it takes.
“Likewise, they appreciate the positive support of our nation as they continue to protect our freedoms at home and the freedoms of others throughout the world,” she said. “To put it in perspective, while troops were finishing the Bin Laden mission, other troops were helping the tornado victims in the south and eastern parts of the United States. It’s all in a good day’s work for our U.S. military.”
Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.