War, Terrorism and Our Classrooms

A Rethinking Schools Special Report

This page provides links to every article in our special report, many of which are available as letter-size PDFs suitable for reproduction as classroom handouts.

You can also download the complete report as a PDF (1.6 MB)The complete report is easiest to read when printed on 11×17 paper, but is still quite legible when printed on smaller paper.

Sept. 11 and Our Classrooms
An editorial by the Editors of Rethinking Schools.

A Time of Gifts | download PDF
By Stephen Jay GouldIn a time of horror, we have a responsibility to remember how people respond with acts of kindness and generosity

Not in Our Son’s Name | download PDF
By Phyllis and Orlando Rodriguez
The parents of one victim of the World Trade Center attack plead for “a rational response that brings real peace and justice to our world.”

Teaching About Sept. 11
By Alfie Kohn
Teachers have a special responsibility to help students empathize with all of humanity, not just victims of terrorism.

An Alternative to War | download PDF
By Michael Ratner and Jules Lobel
Principles that the United States should follow when charting its continuing response to September 11.

What Is Islam? | download PDF
By Semya Hakim
An introduction to this often-misunderstood religion.

Facts About Arabs | download PDF
By Marvin Wingfield

Letters to the Universe
By Tracy Wagner
How an English teacher helps kids cope with September 11 by helping them draw on the grief that has touched their own lives.

‘first writing since’
By Suheir Hammad
The noted poet’s “first writing since” the September 11 attacks.

Dear Parents…
By Ann Pelo
A teacher offers guidance on how children may react to tragedy and war.

Talking to Children
By Educators for Social Responsibility
Questions and answers to help parents help their children cope.

Poetry in a Time of Crisis
By Linda Christensen
High school educators call on the power of poetry to help students critique injustice and develop empathy.

The World Up Close
By Bob Peterson
A fifth-grade teacher and his students explore war and terrorism as they look at Afghanistan.

Images of War
By Kelley Dawson
A bilingual elementary teacher helps students think about the images of war they see — and don’t see — in the U.S. media.

Whose Terrorism?
By Bill Bigelow
A classroom activity asks students to define terrorism and apply their definitions to world events.

  • Terrorism Lessons
    A companion piece to Bill Bigelow’s “Whose Terrorism?” article that provides detailed examples for students.

Stand Up! It’s the Law!
By Kate Lyman
A teacher asks students what the Pledge of Allegiance means to them, and strives to protect the rights of children who choose not to recite it.

The History of the Pledge | download PDF
A quick look at how the Pledge began and how it has evolved.

The Supreme Court on the Pledge | download PDF
What the High Court had to say when it last ruled on the Pledge in 1943.

Bush Signs Anti-Terrorism Law | download PDF
By the American Civil Liberties Union
A look at the potential pitfalls of the USA Patriot Act.

House ‘Stimulus’ Money Grab | download PDF
By Citizens for Tax Justice
How some powerful corporations have been using September 11 as an excuse to line their own pockets.

Attacks on Muslims and Arab-Americans | download PDF
A sampling of the abuse and injuries sustained in the United States by Arabs and Muslims — and people mistaken for them — since September 11.

New World Disorder | download PDF
By Arundhati Roy
Does Infinite Justice for some mean Infinite Injustice for others?

Where Does the Violence Come From? | download PDF
By Rabbi Michael Lerner
A rabbi reflects on the nature of violence, and how the forces that lead people to feel anger and outrage eventually impact on our daily lives.

Backyard Terrorism | download PDF
By George Monbiot
Washington has been training terrorists at a Georgia military base for years, and is still at it today.

The Geopolitics of War | download PDF
By Michael Klare
A look at the larger issues, including oil and Saudi Arabia, at the root of the current conflict.

Iraq: How Many Must Die? | download PDF
By George Capaccio
A firsthand account of the suffering of innocents wrought by U.S. sanctions against Iraq.

Afghanistan: The Route to Riches | download PDF
By Andy Rowell
A look at the issues, especially oil and gas, that guide U.S. policy toward Afghanistan.

The Palestinian Uprising: A Primer
By the Middle East Research and Information Project
Information to help make sense of a conflict that may sometimes seem inexorable and incomprehensible.

An extensive list of resources, including many websites, on the September 11 attacks and related issues.

‘When Silence Is Betrayal’ | download PDF
By Martin Luther King, Jr.
The civil rights leaders’s famous call for the United States to declare “eternal hostility” to poverty, racism, and militarism.