Sunday, September 11, 2011

6 Year Old Watched 9/11 Live In School Classroom

10 years ago eldest boy was in first grade and had just turned 6 when 9/11 happened. It was a strange enough day for us adults.  Parents were withdrawing their children from school. We had decided to leave him in school because we wanted his day to be normal as possible.

We didn’t know that his first grade teacher turned the classroom tv on that morning, and stood by and sobbed while these young children watched everything live on CNN.  No explanation or re-assurance was given by the teacher. I’m sure these children were all frightened.

When I picked him up at the end of the day I could tell by his face that something was wrong. He had spent 6 hours in front of the classroom tv watching live tv coverage of planes crashing into buildings, people falling and bouncing off the buildings, and the buildings crashing. He didn't know the news was replaying the same news footage repeatedly and thought many planes flew into many buildings. He was almost hysterical in the car on the way home from school because he thought a plane was going to crash into our car or our home and we would be killed. He had no idea how far away Florida was from New York. He was in such a state nothing I said to him would re-assure him that he was safe.

He suffered from nightmares for several weeks after that. Today he says he wished he hadn’t watched 9/11 live at so young an age.

When I asked the teacher why she allowed these children to watch live and uncensored coverage of the event, she said that “this was history in the making and as an American student he needs to know about it”. She said it was her duty as a patriotic American to allow her class to watch it live on tv.

I wish, as a parent, my 6 year old child had not been exposed to live and uncensored news coverage of the event without my knowledge or consent. I think it's unhealthy to expose such a young child to this.

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