Students Watch History Unfold - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

04/08/03 - East Texas

Students Watch History Unfold

The apparent fall of the Iraqi regime is a major turning point in world history, and it prompted some East Texas teachers to change their lesson plans Wednesday.

A world history class at All Saints Episcopal School in Tyler tuned into Fox News Channel for most of their class. Sophomores and seniors silently looked on as Iraqi civilians toppled a statue of Saddam Hussein and carried its head through the streets of Baghdad.

"As soon I came into the classroom, I saw them tearing down the statue," says Senior Ryan Himes. "I really think this is a step in the right direction. The thing that stands out in my mind is when they pulled that statue down ... the Iraqi people just swarmed around it."

The students reveled in the idea that one day they would be reading about the fall of Saddam's regime in history books.

"You're actually learning while its happening," says sophomore Brian Wisenbaker. "We'll be able to tell our kids about it in the future."

The students history teacher Rhonda Hagan prompted her class to predict what will be written in the next chapter of history. Students debated whether or not the coalition should include the United Nations when rebuilding the Iraqi government.

"I think if we just went in there alone that would cause a lot of problems," says sophomore Emily Hall. The United Nations would probably feel the decisions we make are not (right) for all the nations and Iraq."

"I don't think it's right (to go in without the U.N.)," added Emily Hall. "Especially, if America is eventually going to form Iraq's new government. I don't think it's appropriate for us to do that. I think that's like imperialism, with us just going in, taking over their government and saying how it should be run. I think the (Iraqi people) should have a big say in their government."

Whatever the future holds, Hagan's world history class took comfort in knowing they saw this part of history firsthand.

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