I was in my school office in Wilson, in West Texas, when my wife called me and said a plane had struck the World Trade Center. We turned on a television and watched as the second plane struck the other tower and the Pentagon.
I met with the campus principal and staff that morning. Parents began to call the school soon after the news, and several parents came and picked up their children. We tried to maintain a sense of normalcy for the younger elementary students and middle school students to not cause alarm. The high school students were allowed to watch the news coverage as this was a historical event that the electronic media allowed the world to witness in “real time.”
I went around to each room to monitor the students and staff and several students had questions. We answered them factually and calmly. Questions like, would they attack our town or school? I explained that a small, rural farming community in West Texas was not a likely target compared with a metropolitan area with well-known tourist locations. An open house had been scheduled for that evening, and we sent word home with the students postponing it until a later date.
I also remember flying to a school board convention two weeks after 9/11 and the airplane was nearly empty.
Chico ISD Superintendent
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