Students Discuss Response to 9/11 Attacks

What will America gain from the war in Afghanistan? How can our nation sustain the will to eradicate terrorism? How has September 11 affected students' chances of attaining the American Dream? Millions of young Americans are now asking soul-searching questions like these. A panel of LBUSD high school students and recent graduates serving in the armed forces recently addressed these tough questions during the All-District Student Roundtable Forum, a stirring tribute and panel discussion at Jordan High School. They examined their personal resolve and commitment to their nation in light of the terrorist attack. The colorful event honored Angelica Ontiveros, a 2001 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and an alumna of Jordan High School, and Genevieve Ubina, a 2000 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis and an alumna of Poly. They and eight other outstanding recent graduates and current high school seniors joined moderator Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald for a lively discussion of challenging issues related to the attack that affect millions of young Americans. Questions for the panel came from high school students throughout the Long Beach Unified School District. Superintendent Carl Cohn discussed the purpose of the event. "We want to thank our young men and women, recent graduates of our schools, who are serving in the military," said Cohn. "We want to listen to the views of current students and graduates on the response to terrorism. "The video lesson of this forum can be used in social studies classrooms throughout our district to give life to hundreds of similar conversations among young people. The strength of our democracy is our right to share ideas, to disagree, to exchange points of view as we search for the truth." Recent graduates of LBUSD schools who are in the Armed Forces attended the event as special guests in uniform. Other students from throughout the school district joined hundreds of Jordan students in the audience. The forum was videotaped for viewing by all 25,000 LBUSD high school students in January in their U.S. history or government classes. The video presents LBUSD students and recent graduates discussing the 9/11 attacks on America at the all-district panel forum. The panelists focus on justice, freedom and patriotism. Students describe their responses and apply these principles to their real world situations.