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PLATFORM : Junior Citizens

October 21, 1990| RITA DOLAN teaches seventh- and eighth-graders world culture and U.S. history at Bell Junior High School in Southeast San Diego, where many of the students have parents fighting in the Persian Gulf. She said she has used the analogy of a local bully seeking attention to describe the situation on the Arabian Peninsula. She told The Times:

I'm trying to get them to look at (conflict) from several different points of view.

Part of the value of teaching history is that they realize they are citizens of the greater world. You take it down to the bully next door and take it to the international situation so they can identify with Saudi Arabia (and) Kuwait.

We talk about, "Is it OK to hold only the men as hostages? How many dead bodies do we exchange for oil? Do we need oil that much? What is the point of view of Japan?" I don't tell the kids anything, but I try to introduce all the questions, which I can't answer by myself, so how can I tell them? We talk about it. I use the local bully thing.

The kids understand that we are on the brink of war. These children were born after Vietnam. To them, Vietnam is as ancient as Rome. They're generally anti-war.

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