Parents in El Paso, Texas say they were shocked to find out that a teacher at Hughey Elementary asked their children to depict airplanes flying into buildings, explosions and people jumping to their deaths to remember the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
“We had to draw the boom cloud, the planes hitting, and people jumping out of the windows,” the daughter of Ivie Gremillion recalled.
The girl’s drawing shows people jumping out of burning buildings and yelling, “Help!” and “I love you!” One student’s drawing obtained by KFOX had the writing, “One way ticket to heaven.”
In another picture, the terrorist pilots are laughing as they fly planes into the World Trade Center.
“That’s something that kids should get in trouble for drawing,” Gremillion said. “That’s people being murdered, committing suicide.”
According to the El Paso mom, the teacher taught students that “the Afghans did this because they hate all of us and want to kill all of us.”
A neighbor’s son was so distraught after the Monday assignment that he did not want to go to school the next day.
“He was under the impression that this happens every 9/11,” Gremillion explained.
To make matter’s worse, Gremillion’s husband is being deployed to Afghanistan later this year.
“She like, ‘My dad’s going to die,’” she said her daughter told her. “I would like a counselor to go in there and re-explain all this to that class.”
“The way she worded [it] is just teaching racism and hate for an entire nation, and that’s not OK,” Gremillion insisted.
El Paso Independent School District confirmed to KFOX that students were asked to draw pictures of 9/11 after a class discussion about the tragedy.
“EPISD is very concerned about the images that were drawn in response to a lesson on the events of September 11,” district officials said in a statement. “District and campus administrators are investigating the specific assignment and are interviewing the personnel involved.”
“We regret the insensitivity that this action may have caused and wish to assure our community that we will act swiftly in this matter and will take any and all appropriate action. We extend our sincere apologies.”
Watch this video from KFOX, broadcast Sept. 12, 2012.