Teachers incorporate bin Laden's death into social studies lessons

St. Francis student Delia-Anne Fabro
St. Francis student Delia-Anne Fabro

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

MANOA (HawaiiNewsNow) - The death of 9-11 mastermind Osama bin Laden was the main topic of discussion in history and social studies classes Monday.

"What you're actually experiencing right now is history being made," Rick Saunders told his social studies class at Saint Francis School.

Saunders had an unexpected change in lesson plans following President Obama's dramatic announcement Sunday that Osama bin Laden had been killed, capping a decade-long manhunt.

"This whole thing of hide and seek, he's a master man," Saunders said.

"He's the best hide and seeker," a student responded.

The 11th graders, who were just six or seven years old during the 9-11 terrorist attacks, had already been studying the al-Qaeda leader this semester.

"We've been learning about how the al-Qaeda would work and the different groups he would be cooperating with throughout the Middle East and where he's been hiding," Delia-Anne Fabro, 16, said.

Their textbooks are now suddenly out of date.

"Why was he not brought here, his body brought here after he was killed?" Saunders asked.

"Muslim tradition," a student replied.

"It doesn't get any better than this as far as teaching students about how history changes every day?" this reporter asked.

"Right, right," Saunders replied. "Yeah, it's just great to see things evolve right in front of their own eyes."

For Jessica Rossi, bin Laden's death brought a sigh of relief. She says her mother, who's in the Army, served in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"It's just hard because she was gone for like a year for both of them," Rossi, 16, said. "She's home now and now I'm happy that she won't have to go back."

Fabro's mother was raised in New York and lost many friends on September 11th.

"Just so heartfelt that you could lose so many people in one day," Fabro said.

The students discussed possible retaliation by bin Laden supporters, the potential impact on our nation's economy, and whether the operation was right.

"Death really isn't the answer sometimes," Fabro said. "But you can't help but feel that sort of this is what you get."

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