Skip to comments.Australian teacher assigns students to plan a terrorist attack to kill as many as possible
Posted on 08/25/2010 3:20:38 AM PDT by markomalley
A high school teacher who assigned her class to plan a terrorist attack that would kill as many innocent Australians as possible had no intent to promote terrorism, education officials said Wednesday.
The Year 10 students at Kalgoorlie-Boulder Community High School in the state of Western Australia were given the assignment last week in a class on contemporary conflict and terrorism.
Principal Terry Martino said he withdrew the assignment as soon as he heard of it.
But after news of the assignment was published in Wednesday's West Australian newspaper, talk radio and online forums began a busy debate and some survivors of terror attacks across Australia which has been a target of terror campaigns at home and abroad came forward to express their outrage.
"It's extremely offensive if you've ever been involved in it," said Peter Hughes, who was burned over half of his body in the 2002 Bali bombings, which killed 202 people, including 88 Australians, on the Indonesian resort island.
"It's something they would probably do in some radical school in Indonesia. For it to be done in the state education system is mind-blowing," he told the newspaper.
The students were asked to pretend they were terrorists making a political statement by releasing a chemical or biological agent on "an unsuspecting Australian community," according to a copy of the assignment received by the West Australian newspaper.
The task included choosing the best time to attack and explaining their choice of victims and what effects the attack would have on a human body.
"Your goal is to kill the MOST innocent civilians in order to get your message across," the assignment read.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
Being at war with murderous but stupid terrorists is bad enough. Do not do their thinking for them.
“The teacher, with every best intention, was attempting to have the students think through someone else’s eyes about conflict,”
Actually, I think that’s a good teaching tool - though maybe to teach law-enforcement and other emergency responders, not school kids.
A quiet campaign among the students to have all of the terrorist attacks take place in the teachers’ lounge — “killing as many as possible” — might have been a decent countermeasure.
Only an observation...but this assignment doesn’t sound like something that you’d hand out to students to prove anything. It sounds more like a wannabe instructor with no real reason for existence in the school atmosphere, and simply doing this for entertainment purposes.
I’m also going to guess that the local board will examine the instructor’s credentials and evaluate them a bit closer.
Actually, not a bad idea. Once the students started the project theyd understand just how easily such an attack could be carried out. It would raise their awareness, maybe raise their parents awareness too.
Too many people feel it cant happen here or its too complicated. It can happen here - or there. It would be relatively easy.
The Torah, not so much a litigious book of order, as much as it is God’s guide on how to have life through Him, is focused on how man should think in order to have life with God. Since all humans are born initially as unbelievers, that method of thinking had to be taught to younger generations. The Hebrew nation founded organized education as a method to teach their younger generations how to think in order to live by God’s provision. His method is that morality comes from within, not from the outside in to the righteous man.
There was a time when education focused on training younger generations on how to think, instead of academics.
While the teacher might have been considering how to encourage the students to think, its foolish and criminal to encourage evil thinking, especially in newly forming minds.
How would she teach the evils of drug addiction? Giving her classes a regimen of steadily increasing heroin fixes? /s
Starting with the teacher, I presume.
This ‘teacher’ needs to find another line of work. Community organizing might be a better fit.
My wife and I had a similar conversation after going to the circus with our children and a nephew recently. No security at all. When I mentioned that during the last intifada in Israel they targeted just about any group with more than 10 people in it she was a little worried. When I rambled off the names of such places like Starbucks, the local Pizza joint etc etc and there is no way they could all have metal detectors and pat downs it really sinks in how vulnerable we are.
Oh well, off to get some coffee. Got a big Pizza dinner tonight after a trip to the sports game ;)
I agree. This was a class on "contemporary conflict and terrorism". The whole point is to get students to think about how vulnerable western countries are to an attack designed to kill innocent people.
This was an assignment for high school students. By that age, they should be able to distinguish between right and wrong, and understand that the assignment was not to promote terrorism.
I cannot get to the site from where I am located (military installation). What is the name of the teacher in Australia? That might lend a clue as to why this particular classroom topic.
“A quiet campaign among the students to have all of the terrorist attacks take place in the teachers lounge killing as many as possible might have been a decent countermeasure.”
Does Australia have an NEA?
The school declined to identify the teacher, citing her privacy, and her name also was not given in the newspaper report. She was in her mid-20s and had been teaching for three years, O’Neill said.I believe them. I guess it was just bad taste. She shouldn’t be fired for this.
“I think it was well-intentioned but she has made a mistake, and she’s very remorseful for not thinking this task through,” O’Neill said.
Do you really mean to tell me that you think that that teacher wouldn't have been fired immediately?
"Well-intentioned" my @$$. She's either too stupid to be a teacher or trolling for ideas for herself or her "group" on how to go about doing it but too lazy to do it herself.
I think this class and this line of thinking should be taught in an American High School. It seems that everyone is having a knee jerk reaction thinking that this teacher was “training” these kids not educating them.... an uninformed populace is a weak populace.
Try thinking like a terrorist the next time you go to a ballgame, mall, college campus, elementary school, hospital, etc. It will open your mind as to the ease of an attack on American Soil.
Would they get a failing grade if a mosque was used as their target?
“Try thinking like a terrorist the next time”
I don’t see that assignment as being much use, except to make the kids paranoid. I would rather have seen the assignment where the kids had to write a paper pretending to be a member of some extremist group and justifying why his or her group should use the tactic of killing as many innocent people as possible to convey its message. Let them think through the moral implications, not the tactical ones.
Oh, no doubt about that!
Can you imagine the outcry, though, if the assignment was to imagine that you were the Commander of an Einsatzgruppe and your mission was to collect as many Jews as possible within your operations area and transport them back to the nearest concentration camp? Part of your assignment is to outline how you would house the prisoners until they are boarded on the transport, collection and disbursement of rations, organization of the transport, planning the route, and ensuring that enough security was detailed to the group to ensure its arrival at the camp.Heh. Yes, I guess in that case, she would be fired immediately. However, it is not exactly the same situation. In the terrorist case, it is at least possible to think up a reasonable motivation for the assignment, so we may give her the benefit of the doubt (I can also think up less than reasonable explanations, of course.) In the Nazi example, I cannot think of any reasonable motivation.
Do you really mean to tell me that you think that that teacher wouldn’t have been fired immediately?
The assignment was/is in fact a very good idea..
There is nothing to stop bad actors of any age from performing the same task at anytime..
The exercise got young people thinking about the problem and working it thru. This way all the young people involved get exposed to the potentialities of terrorist operations.
No doubt the exercise helped them realize the level and degree of vulnerability they are subject to in their day to day affairs..
It is never wrong to have the general citizenry think out potential terrorist operations with the intent then to mitigate risk and thwart the enemies plans.
The people bring unique and unusual perspectives to the problem..Ones that the Military and First Responders cannot..
It is a matter of creative thinking and young people unconstrained do that as well if not better than anyone else because they are less fixed in their thinking.
Having said that. It is the results of the various plans that should remain confidential if at all possible.
They also should be carefully reviewed in order to identify potential risks that have yet to be recognized. Releasing that information is where one can inadvertently assist the enemy..
Having people of all ages think the problem through and work it.
Heck, the DC metro during the morning rush has more people on a 8-car train than a 747. . .and it’s not like terrorist pig-kissers haven't targeted that mode of transport before. But nnnooooo. . . .we have to strip to fly. . .so what will happen WHEN (I am sure it will happen) a subway system like the DC Metro, is attacked. . .airport-like screening? I doubt it. Profiling is the answer.
Not identifying her I understand, but it does beg the question. . .ROP member?
Well, you’re right about it not being exactly the same situation ...
“Your goal is to kill the MOST innocent civilians in order to get
your message across,” the assignment read.
H-LL, radical Muslims and other terrorists already have got this down pat.
Set off a bomb in a public place, allow for a decent waiting period
for first-responders and compassionate civilians to come to the aid of
the wounded...then set off a bomb to take them out.
As far as getting “your message across”...if I’d been in that class,
my submission would say that this approach clearly communicates the
message that the bombers are blood-thirsty animals and should die
of “lead poisoning” whenever spotted.
If Islamic terrorists had any real brains (and human conscience)
they’d set off non-lethal “bombs” that would blow flour instead of
Just to say “we’re actually not animals; if we were a lot of people would
be bleeding and dying in this public place.”.
I had to do this for an Intel class I had for my Graduate Certificate in Terorrism Studies. Was fun.
"What did you do in school today, sweetie?"
"If I told you, Mom, I'd have to kill you."
When the assignments are handed in, then the students and teacher should witness what Australia uses to curtail and ultimately destroy terrorism in their country. First hand of course... TAG East -
I think it is a valid exercise - I took a cyberterrorism class for my IT masters and our final paper was exactly this.
The prof said that the CIA/FBI does this as well because good people have a hard time thinking outside the box and need to learn to think like a criminal.
SPOT ON! My thoughts exactly. The better that people understand the enemies thought processes and tactics the better the chance to spot and defeat him. Ever read Sun Tsu? For tenth graders I have no problem with this. We need to start preparing our young people for war with these savages. It's coming. BET ON IT!
Most of modern terrorists are driven by a religion-inspired hate. Only another terrorist can understand them. How can a kid pretend to be a Muslim if she haven't read Koran? Even if we look at more obscure cases of terrorism, like Basques, it still requires to be a historian to understand what led to this social disease.
Let them think through the moral implications, not the tactical ones.
If I were in the shoes of that teacher, and if I had to give a similar assignment, I'd tell students to be on the light side of the Force; for example, a student can play a police commander who is tasked with securing a certain venue. Then the student has to identify vulnerabilities, classify them by danger level, and maybe offer solutions (they don't have to be perfect - this is not a police academy.)
“If I told you, Mom, I’d have to kill you.”
“If I told you, Mom, they would kill me then they would kill you.”
It isn’t just Muslims who count people as acceptable targets. Consider the Unabomber or environmentalists who burn down labs, spike trees and such. COnsider the Baader-Meinhof Gang, or William Ayres and Bernadette Doorn. I don’t want them to understand Muslim extremists, I want them to debate whether any message or cause is worth the life of an innocent. A class on politics can’t gain by either planning a terrorist act or preparing for one. That’s a proper subject for law enforcement classes.
The prof said that the CIA/FBI does this as well because good people have a hard time thinking outside the box and need to learn to think like a criminal.Yes, that is indeed an invaluable skill. You do the same as in a game of chess: You try to figure out your next move. Then you try to figure out what your enemy’s best move would be. Then you figure out how to deal with that.
However, one thing you never do: You absolutely never tell your enemy what his best move would be. Because more often than not, the stupid bastard will overlook it. And you win. Let’s keep it that way!
Insane or interesting assignment?
I think that this is a good case of a hands on assignment, with more to do regarding situational awareness than with paranoia. Times have changed and not for the better concerning terrorism and the many faces that use it to achieve their individual goals.
By denying that there is a threat and not allowing the students learn first hand how to think and operate as a terrorist, I think that we as a society are just enabling the groups and people who would use it against us. If Military and law enforcement are the only groups that we allow to think and exercise this type of thought, then we continue the current pattern of reliance on them for safety. We are losing the ability to think critically about our own personally safety. I don’t think that it was a bad assignment and I think more like this need to be encouraged.
I can see your point.
I bet all the Muslim kids aced it, straight A’s and in record time. With circles and arrows on 9x12 photo glossy paper no less.
Oh and GPS coordinates, and how to get the MSM involved as well.
I can see both sides of the argument and you are right that it will cause a certain amount of paranoia, so you are right... this type of education needs to be monitored and not done half-arsed. I think we are seeing the same coin just from other sides....