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Tokay High School teacher centers lesson plans around Osama bin Laden’s death

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Posted: Monday, May 2, 2011 2:22 pm | Updated: 12:13 pm, Tue May 3, 2011.

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 jenniferb@lodinews.com.

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  • Mike Adams posted at 6:48 pm on Tue, May 3, 2011.

    Mike Adams Posts: 1271

    What kind of gun do you think he might be pretending to hold? Definitely not a Barrett 50 cal. Just kidding. It's an MP 5 (silenced version).

    Kidding aside, I'm impressed he is attempting to give some sort of historical perspective to kids who were just becoming aware of life around them 10 years ago. While you and I can probably tell where we were on 11-22-63 or 12-8-80, some of these kids don't even remember the OJ trial or the riots in LA in 1992, definitely not the riots of 1965 or '68.

    In the classroom, the only person who gets older each year is the teacher.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 7:35 am on Tue, May 3, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Mike... I think it is always interesting to observe and contemplate what you view...
    I did not give it a second thought when I looked at it... now that you made that observation... it made me look at the picture in a different light... thank you for the observation and reminder to take my time and contemplate and think about what I see.
    Who knows... maybe it does mean something...

  • Mike Adams posted at 6:43 am on Tue, May 3, 2011.

    Mike Adams Posts: 1271

    Normally, in school (and I worked at a high school for a long time, hats are not allowed indoors. I notice none of the kids have hats on in class.

    It's just an observation, it doesn't mean anything.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 7:08 pm on Mon, May 2, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    my guess is to keep the sun out of his eyes... or maybe he is protesting.... may I ask... what is your thought?

  • Mike Adams posted at 6:07 pm on Mon, May 2, 2011.

    Mike Adams Posts: 1271

    Darrell, If I may ask.. why is this teacher wearing a hat in class?

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 4:08 pm on Mon, May 2, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Ill start it...

    How do you feel about the killing of Osama bin Laden?
    Im thankful that he will not be able to kill again.

    Do you think it was justified, why or why not?
    Im not sure... since so many innocent men, woman and children died in Obama's pursuit to get Bin Laden, its hard to say if it was justified...

    Was there another way the U.S. could have handled this?
    Im sure there were others ways... but I am not qualified to say if there could have been a better way
    How do you think al Qaeda will respond?
    They will be motivated to seek out as many avenues to kill us and at the same time, minimize damage to themselvess. I think every time we advance, they try to counter our advance to hurt us.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 3:56 pm on Mon, May 2, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    May I suggest that Tokay high students post answers to these questions( on this thread) and debate this publicly instead of privately in class where one teacher acts as a moderator... that would be very educational.. and less bias



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