EL PASO, Texas (CBS Houston) – On the 11th anniversary of 9/11, the images of the terrorist attacks are almost unavoidable. But for a class of fourth-graders in El Paso – a group of children who weren’t even born at the time of the attacks – the children took on an assignment of drawing the violent images from that day.
Parents of the children in that class were outraged about the assignment, as children told their parents that their teacher, who allegedly told the students that Afghans hate and want to kill all Americans, advised students to draw a “boom cloud, the planes hitting [the World Trade Center], and people jumping out of the windows.” KFOX reports that students drew images of World Trade Center towers on fire with people jumping out of the buildings, yelling, “Help,” and “I love you.”
According to officials with El Paso Independent School District, the assignment came about from a class discussion about the anniversary of 9/11 and what it means to them. Most, if not all, of the students in the class weren’t even born yet. The teacher, who has yet to be identified, expanded on the lesson, explaining why it came about.
“‘The Afghans did this because they hate all of us and want to kill all of us,’” Ivie Gremillion, a mother of one of the students in the class, told KFOX of what her daughter claims the teacher said about 9/11. She later added: “The way she worded [it] is just teaching racism and hate for an entire nation, and that’s not OK.”
Gremillion said that her daughter’s photo depicted the pilot of one of the planes laughing. Other drawings reportedly featured firefighters and policemen labeled as “heroes.”
While parents of the students are pushing for the teacher to be reprimanded, KFOX reports that some parents are hoping that a counselor goes into the class to re-explain the events of 9/11. Meanwhile, the school district is investigating the incident.
“EPISD is very concerned about the images that were drawn in response to a lesson on the events of September 11,” the district said in a statement. “District and campus administrators are investigating the specific assignment and are interviewing the personnel involved. We regret the insensitivity that this action may have caused and wish to assure our community that we will act swiftly in this matter and will take any and all appropriate action. We extend our sincere apologies.”