Though some students in the upper grades of North Fork Schools might have been excited upon hearing that U.S. military forces found and killed Osama bin Laden on Sunday, teachers and administrators said that they took a more cautious approach to the issue in classroom discussions — if they addressed the news at all.
"We talked about it, yes," said Charlie Turner, a longtime navy man who now teaches kids enrolled in the North Fork's Navy Junior ROTC program in Southold. "Most of the kids seemed to be excited about it, but I played the role of Debbie Downer. We could see retaliations from terrorists organizations now."
Maj. William Grigonis, the head of the consolidated NJROTC program in Mattituck, said that it's not the goal the program to get into politics and current events, so he did not address bin Laden's death in the classroom but did answer questions if students had them.
Brenda Flaherty, secretary at Southold Elementary School, also said that administrators decided not to formally address bin Laden's death in the classroom.
"They are little, you know. I'm not sure if many of them saw the coverage," she said on Monday, adding that the issue was raised in a third and fifth grade.
"The teachers answered the questions on an age-appropriate manner," she said.
Stay tuned for an online chat on Wednesday on how local parents are talking to their children about the death of Osama bin Laden.