Area students watching war with different emotions

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 21, 2003

Trinity Episcopal Day School fifth-grade students watched intently to the latest updates on the war with Iraq at the end of their current events class Thursday.

Millie Burke teaches the current events class and instructs her students to watch the news every night and especially since the war started.

At the beginning of class, Burke passed around an article about President George Bush’s resolute address he gave to Americans Monday night. After the students read the article they answered questions about it and then went over those questions in a discussion.

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During the discussion, Burke talked with her students about war crimes, allies and opposition, the color-coded national terrorism threat level and what each level means.

Some students expressed their opinions on the war and their fears for family, friends and the people in Iraq and here at home.

Carolyn Mullens, 11, has an uncle in the military and said, &uot;I’m kind of sad because he’s going to be gone for a while and he has six children that won’t have a father.&uot;

Mullens said she is also scared of an attack on U.S. soil.

&uot;My grandmother lives in Baton Rouge and that’s a real big place, they could bomb it,&uot; Mullens said.

Burne Sharp, 11, is also scared a major city in Louisiana will be attacked. &uot;Half of my mom’s family live in New Orleans and I’m scared for them because it’s a big city,&uot; Sharp said.

Jheri Ogden, 11, is worried about matters a little closer to home. &uot;I’m kind of scared because of the nuclear power plant in Port Gibson,&uot; Ogden said.

Chas Moroney, 11, supports the war.

&uot;I’m for it,&uot; Moroney said. &uot;I don’t think we should kill innocent people, just Saddam.&uot;

Abigail McCary, 11, is also worried about innocent people that may be killed during war.

&uot;I’m scared for the people in Iraq,&uot; McCary.

Margaret Green’s ninth-grade geography class at Trinity was also discussing the war and looking at a map to determine how large an area Iraq covers.

One student voiced her disagreement with the war. &uot;We’re just going in there and killing people based on the presumption that they have weapons,&uot; Keri Dickens, who is 15, said.

Another student believes there is a leader scarier than Hussein. Lum Lou, 15, is worried because Hussein has not reacted yet and thinks he is not the main person to worry about. Lou said she thinks South Korean President Kim Dae-jung is the real enemy.

A 10th-grade class at Trinity has also been studying the Middle East to gain a better perspective on current events. The class was divided into groups, each of which had to give a presentation on a country in the Middle East.

&uot;It gave me a different perspective on the Middle East. Not everyone there is a maniacal dictator,&uot; Will Harris said after researching for his presentation.

Cap White thinks America might be a little self-absorbed. &uot;We don’t know a lot about them because we don’t care that much,&uot; White said. &uot;If it doesn’t affect us, Americans don’t care about them that much.&uot;

Even the younger students at Vidalia Lower Elementary School are aware of the war and have their own opinions.

Becky Ferguson teaches second-grade at the elementary school and said her students have been writing letters to two people in the military a week. One of her students, Kyle Howard, has an uncle that the class will be writing to this week. Howard, 9, said his family &uot;told me not be afraid.&uot;

One of Ferguson’s students brought in to the class a banner that will be sent with a letter to Howard’s uncle. The banner said, &uot;Take care and God Bless you. Love, Mrs. Ferguson’s class. Thank you Seargent Daniel Wedlock. We love you!&uot;