Young students now learn about the events of 9/11 in the classroom

Published: Sep. 11, 2021 at 10:17 AM CDT
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COPPERAS COVE, Texas (KWTX) - Children at Williams-Ledger Elementary School in Copperas Cove learned the lyrics to a song they may not understand yet in Paul Warren’s music class. They practiced “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” leading up to a ceremony 20 years after the Twin Towers fell on 9/11.

“My father served in World War II and I’m a veteran myself and it does hit home,” Warren said.

Teachers like Warren and his colleague, Terri Jernigan, were in the classroom back in 2001. They tried to control their own emotions while taking care of the students.

“I think it was very difficult because the kids didn’t really know because we didn’t really share with them at that point,” Jernigan said.

“Some teachers even formed groups and we came together,” Warren explained. “It’s one of those things. How much do we share? How much do we tell them because there are things they should see and things they shouldn’t see.”

That challenge inspired the songs, lessons and an annual freedom walk at the school to remember the events of 9/11.

“There are certain events in our history that we’ve celebrated and there are certain events that must be remembered,” Warren said. “9/11 ‘01 must be remembered and although these children certainly were not around, some of their parents were very young also. We feel it’s important? That they know the events of that day.”

It’s a history lesson that offers another opportunity to teach children about humanity.

“I think it’s an opportunity for us to teach empathy in our children and we need to teach empathy to our children,” Jernigan said.

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