Is a 9/11 Coloring Book Featuring Terrorist Trading Cards Really the Best Way to Educate Kids about that Tragic Day?Meredith Carroll
Giving a movie a PG-13 rating will do little to ensure kids under 13 won’t — or won’t want — to see it. On the contrary, tell kids they can’t do anything and you’ve pretty much just ensured it’s exactly what they want to do.
“We Shall never Forget 9/11, Volume II: The True Faces of Evil-Terror” is a just-released coloring book for kids about terrorism, according to Yahoo Shine, that features “black-and-white outlines of memorials and military men and features collectible trading cards with photos and information about terrorists around the world.”
The coloring book’s publisher said “it’s a teaching and learning tool that’s rated PG-13.”
As if the PG-13 part will surely keep kids under 13 away. And as if giving kids a coloring book about one of the most tragic events in history will really teach them anything.
For anyone who lived in New York City, Washington, DC, or Pennsylvania, on Sept. 11, 2001, or anyone who was alive then, really, it’s hard to wrap your head and heart around a coloring book about the horrific events of that day.
Is anyone really itching to color in photos of the 9/11 crash sites or Saddam Hussein? Is a letter from Michelle Bachman questioning the head of Homeland Security about the “Muslim Brotherhood” really educating tweens and teens on jihadists?
And is the line in the table of contents urging kids to “share the information in this book with your friends, neighbors, teachers, educators, religious leaders” really going to ensure the book is discussed in an open, safe forum rather than in whispers among conspiratorial kids?
Of the terrorist trading cards included in the book, it’s hard to know what to say, especially considering the second Bush administration actually also released terrorist trading cards. Regardless, are terrorist trading cards really the best way to go about teaching kids about terrorism, who’s behind it and their motivation? Or will it just glorify the blood and gore behind the men and women and their heinous acts?
“It’s unique in the fact that we try to name them and shame them, the actual faces of evil,” says the publisher about the trading cards.
Because trading cards, which are historically reserved for athletes and other heroic figures, will really shame the terrorists?
The publisher should be ashamed. And parents should be aware. If it’s a choice between a PG-13 movie and this “coloring book,” nearly anything should win out over this monstrosity.