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Japanese internment camps

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From: mark alexander (markcalexander_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Sep 12 2001 - 09:11:04 PDT


I find that although I am blessed that all of my family and my friends
are safe, many thousands upon thousands of people are not as fortunate
as I. I'm in shock about the evilness of the world. Virtually no
American alive today will ever forget these events.

My first class, a fourth grade, was in such a somber mood as they came
in that I decided to ditch my prepared plans. Instead we had a 20
minute discussion about what was going on, and then drew pictures about
the events and how we felt about them.

During the discussion, one boy said he thought president Bush should
immediately drop a huge bomb on Saudi Arabia to get back at all those
people who did this. A young Egyptian boy, also in the class, responded
by asking what would happen to all the people in Saudi Arabia who
didn't have anything to do with the airplanes in NY? I am worried about
the families of Arabic children who attend this school and other
schools around the country. I hope we are able to make everyone
understand that our Arabic friends must not to be held responsible for
the terrible actions of a handful of terrorists.

I happen to have a collection of posters, published by the US
government after the attack on Pearl Harbor, proclaiming that all
people of Japanese descent were to report to the internment camps. Some
of them are done in all Japanese characters and are quite beautiful,
although frightening in their inherent prejudice. I think I'll bring
them in and use them to spark discussion. Any suggestions for a lesson
on tolerance and forgiveness and understanding?

Mark

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