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Published: Saturday, 11/10/2001

Issue Day draws lesson from Sept. 11 tragedies

Maumee Valley Country Day School students listen to a speech about how to prevent terrorism during Issue Day.
 Maumee Valley Country Day School students listen to a speech about how to prevent terrorism during Issue Day.
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Terrorism and violence were part of the lesson plans at Maumee Valley Country Day School yesterday for about 300 area high school students.

As part of the school's annual Issue Day - planned months before the Sept. 11 events - local and national speakers helped students understand Middle East conflicts, capital punishment, domestic violence, hate crimes, date rape, and school crime.

“It got to be very timely with the violence issue,” said Katie Twyman, a junior at Maumee Valley who helped organize the workshops for students from about a dozen area schools.

“It was a lot of different issues that we're not as exposed to,” said Katie Smigelski, a senior at St. Ursula Academy.

Peter Akpunonu, also a junior at Maumee Valley, said he learned some difficult lessons about hate crimes: their nature, extent, and frequency.

“That was kind of disturbing,” he said.

Keynote speaker Retired Rear Adm. Eugene Carroll, Jr., talked to students about preventing terrorism. As vice president of the Center for Defense Information in Washington, he travels the country speaking about military issues and national security.

Mr. Carroll said he hoped the students will gain a better understanding of the world.

“I want to challenge them to get involved. To do that, I have to make clear that it is important to them and connect them,” he said.

Mr. Carroll was assistant deputy chief of naval operations for plans policy and operation in the Pentagon where he did naval planning for conventional and nuclear war. He commanded amphibious assault ships in Vietnam, flew from aircraft carriers during the Korean war, and directed military operations for U.S. forces in Europe and the Middle East.

Students heard about more immediate and local threats to security.

Maumee Valley Country Day Headmaster Phineas Anderson said Issue Day is always valuable, and this year was particularly relevant as terrorism continues to dominate the headlines.

“I think they're trying to pay more attention to world events,” he said.

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