Jason Ritter, who found himself in hot water after showing his Colorado middle school social studies class a 9/11 video last Wednesday, returned to school yesterday. He won’t be disciplined according to a school district spokeswoman.
The issue began when Ritter showed a CNN video without getting district approval, as required. After be confronted, he agreed not to show the video again, but he claimed he was told not to discuss any 9/11-related topics other than Flight 93.
On Monday, his students staged a protest by staying out in the school parking lot until Ritter and the principal came out. Ritter thanked his students for their support, and they were told that they would be allowed to watch the video if they received permission.
[District spokeswoman] Amole said the student walkout and media attention over the situation have affected morale at the school.
“A lot of teachers are concerned about the disruption,” she said.
Well, good. I think Ritter should have known enough to get permission to show the video. But the school’s initial reaction doesn’t seem to be very responsible, especially since Ritter agreed not to show the video again, which is the only policy issue that’s been brought up. Barring discussion of 9/11, especially after making a scene about the video, was bound to do more harm than good.
I’m glad that this seems to have been resolved in a way that makes everyone happy and that will allow the kids in that class to learn and understand a little more about what happened two years ago.
And, although not part of the lesson plan as written up, they’ve learned a little bit more about how the world works. And how it sometimes doesn’t.