"As the school prepared for Rusesabagina's visit, teachers and administrators talked over the best way to introduce children to the Rwandan genocide, 100 days of killing that left about 800,000 people dead in 1994, Principal Craig Rowland said.
They chose to avoid the word "genocide," a concept teachers thought was too disturbing for grade-schoolers, and instead turned the visit into a lesson about heroes. Rowland said he decided that Rusesabagina's story was too distressing and complex for kindergartners and first-graders, who stayed in their classrooms."
As the children learned of the fighting people ethnic groups in Rwanda, and how Rusesabagina saved many lives, they also learned about people like George Washington, Susan B. Anthony, and the people who came to the aid of the tsunami victims in Asia. These are tough lessons for children so young, but I do think it is noble that the teachers at this school had a commitment to teach their students the truth.
Of the whole article, however, the thing that stood out to me the most was one statement made by a 10-year-old girl.
"It's hard to believe this could happen," Nadia said. "You don't want to be mean to people."
If only we could ALL think like that, all the time, maybe we could avoid these conflicts entirely. It is naive, perhaps, but poignant, and very, very true.