Teacher who included attacks in assignment sent home
By Shannon Colavecchio, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 20, 2001
BOCA RATON -- An art teacher at Addison Mizner Elementary School is working
from home, with pay, after school district officials sent her home late last
week following a controversial assignment related to the Sept. 11 terrorist
School district officials are investigating parents' complaints against
43-year-old Patricia Bowes, district spokesman Nat Harrington said Wednesday,
adding that it is "not unusual" for a teacher to be sent home while a
district inquiry is done.
Parents called the school with concerns about drawings that Bowes had
encouraged the students to do Sept. 12 in reflection of the attacks that have
left more than 5,000 people presumed dead.
Bowes said her students have been "drawing their autobiographies" since the
start of the school year, and the day after the attacks she encouraged them
to include their reflections in the latest artwork.
"I continue to apologize if there was any hurt that I caused by my actions,"
said Bowes, who started teaching at Addison Mizner this year after
transferring from Santaluces High School. "I was just trying to make sure the
students were OK and that they understood what had happened. They were
confused about how many towers there were, about how a plane could be taken
over with a knife. I just tried to help them make some sense of all this."
According to personnel records, Bowes has received no negative evaluations
since she began teaching in Palm Beach County four years ago. She currently
makes $38,450 a year.