JEFFERSON CITY - At the Simonsen 9th grade center, social studies teacher Laney Clemens took time out of a busy curriculum Monday to talk with her students about Osama bin Laden. With summer on the horizon, classes were beginning their end of course exams. But Clemens still felt that it was important to satisfy students curiousity and talk about big events and issues.
"We are sort of tied to a curriculum and things that we're supposed to cover but I think you've just got to take time to cover stuff that they're interested in," said Clemens. Her class began with a question written on the white board: "Have you heard the news?" After reading the class' written answers and a short discussion, Clemens showed the class a video about Osama bin Laden, and the lead up to the September 11th attacks.
The answers to her question were varied from "Yes" to "Polynesian independence day" (which doesn't exit). Only a few members of her classes knew what happened Sunday night. Clemens said it is partially her responsibility as a teacher to talk to her students about current events.
"These kids just really take it for granted and they don't realize what really happened. Now my job is to try to go backwards in history and tie some of the pieces together for them and what led up to this," Clemens said.