"Current events" class took on a more immediate significance Monday as teachers at Kingman-area schools discussed the U.S.
and British bombing in Afghanistan with their students.
At Kingman Junior High School, Debra Warren read newspaper accounts of the bombing to her third-period seventh grade class on American history Monday morning.
At Kingman High School, North Campus, Matt Hreha, engaged in a freewheeling discussion with juniors enrolled in his sixth-period U.S.
history class during the afternoon.
Warren incorporated a discussion on the war during the 10 to 15 minutes that she devotes each day in her class to current events.
She read aloud from a newspaper, and engaged her students by calling upon them.
She cited a news story that quoted suspected terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden referring to President George W.
Bush as being an "infidel."
Warren asked students what the word "harboring" means when used in the context of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan harboring the terrorists.
"That they are on their side," Dominique Cabarloc responded.
Warren asked, "What about the United States and the Taliban?"
Josh Fitzsimmons responded, "We are at war against them."
Warren asked, "When did this take place?"
Some students responded – wrongly – that the bombing started on Saturday while others answered correctly that it began Sunday.
Warren told the students that Bush gave the Taliban a warning to turn over bin Laden.
Warren explained afterward that she asks five questions during her daily discussion on current events: who, what, where, when and why.
Cabarloc said that he learned a lot during the class.
He said he now knows where Afghanistan is located, and attempted to find the country on a map in the classroom.
High school students received a more detailed lesson in Hreha's class.
Hreha said after the hourlong class that he discussed the war "because of the fact that something like this does not happen everyday, and I did the same thing 9/11," following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
Hreha packed the session with his analysis of recent events – including the terrorist attacks, the bombing, bin Laden, the Arab-Israeli conflict – and the Vietnam and Gulf wars.
He drew comparisons between Iraq and Afghanistan, noting few Americans knew about Iraq before that country invaded Kuwait in 1990 and few knew about Afghanistan before the Sept.
11 terrorist acts.
While echoing the American position, Hreha tried to convey to his students the views expressed by bin Laden and his sympathizers.
Referring to a video interview that bin Laden granted to a Middle Eastern television station, he linked bin Laden's opposition to America to U.S.
support for Israel.
Student Josh Canon commented, "He says he is calling for a holy war against the United States."
Bin Laden's organization profited by selling airline industry stock on Sept.
10 and buying it back after the terrorist attacks, Hreha told his students.
Thousands of people remain missing even weeks after those attacks, he said.
Student Elizabeth Kanthack commented, "They are probably all vaporized."
Hreha asked if students knew why he doubts that the war in Afghanistan will get less television coverage than the Gulf War.
"Because (the U.S.
government) want to do it secretly," student William Mills said.
Hreha said the U.S.
government will use covert military actions, adding the government does not want to tip off terrorists by telling too much to the press.
Student Brandon Turner said he does not trust the Taliban.
"I don't think they are telling the truth," he said.
"I don't think they will be honest with us."
The Taliban are harboring bin Laden, and finding him will be as difficult as tracking down Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War, Hreha said.
Hreha tried to bring the war close to home by asking how many students have relatives in the military.
Five raised their hands.
Canon said after the class that he learned that America is combining the bombing of Afghanistan with humanitarian aid to civilians.
The war also was on the minds of students and teachers at the four-campus Kingman Academy of Learning Monday, according to district administrator Susan Chan.
"We are not incorporating it, but we are addressing questions and concerns from the students," she said.
"I would say for the most part they have not raised a lot of questions."