What happens when you ask a bunch of eight-year-old kids to draw pictures of a horrific, scarring disaster that they not only lack the processing tools to understand but also happened three years before they were even born? You get drawings of stick figures jumping out of buildings with the caption "One-Way Ticket to Heaven."

In defense of the El Paso school teacher who apparently assigned his or her students to depict 9/11 ("We had to draw the boom cloud, the planes hitting, and people jumping out of the windows," one student told her mother), the kid spelled "ticket" and "heaven" correctly. One student rendered the planes with speech bubbles reading "hahaha"; another one gave one of the jumpers a parachute ("I got a persuit," he says, mid-air). It was not, really, a learning experience:

"'The Afghans did this because they hate all of us and want to kill all of us,'" Gremillion claims the teacher told her daughter.


She said her daughter isn't the only one emotionally affected by the assignment. She said so was her neighbor's son, who drew another similar picture.

"He was under the impression this happens every 9/11, and he was scared to leave his house and go to school yesterday," she said.

There are, probably, better ways to teach fourth-graders about 9/11. But then we wouldn't have all this rich text for graduate students to include in their theses?