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Some Schools Will Let Sept. 11 Anniversary Pass

Some Schools Will Let Sept. 11 Anniversary Pass



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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A number of Utah schools will let Tuesday pass without commemorating the 2001 terrorist attacks.

"We don't want our kids thinking about that. We want them to move on," said Beth Johnston, principal at East Layton Elementary in Davis County.

The oldest of her students was 6 on Sept. 11, 2001. "It might be age-appropriate for older students to acknowledge and talk about it, but for our younger kids, we don't want them to dwell on violence," Johnston said.

Eastwood Elementary School in Salt Lake City generally observes a moment of silence, secretary Tina Jensen said.

"We try to keep it pretty low key because some of the kids weren't even born. We try not to scare them," she said.

Indeed, many students because of age barely remember it and feel little emotional connection.

On the other hand, it can be hard to explain Sept. 11 and its consequences in a comprehensive way because it was just six years ago, said Robert Austin, K-12 social-studies specialist at the Utah State Office of Education.

"There is so much additional context and so many other stories there, that it can become daunting to a teacher to figure out how to be selective enough, sensitive enough and to provide the right balance and depth," Austin said.

The terrorist attacks are not part of Utah's core social studies curriculum but could be added when changes are made later this school year.

West High School history teacher Dave Harper said he teaches students about Sept. 11 at the end of the school year. He presents the tragedy within the context of global conflicts between cultures and explains how the attacks led to later events.

Scott Crump of Bingham High School in South Jordan asks his students to write essays about whether they would like to be remembered as the "9/11 generation."

Eagle Mountain's Eagle Valley Elementary School plans to have a National Guard member speak to students about patriotism. The school will have a Humvee behind the school during lunch. Students will wear red, white and blue Wednesday.

"It's important to continue to teach our students about the importance of the sacrifice (soldiers) make for us and not just to forget 9/11," Principal Keith Conley said. "That's why we've asked men and women to serve throughout the world to protect the United States."

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Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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