Elementary schools throughout the county have become particularly sensitive to questions asked by children about the Persian Gulf war. Several teachers are encouraging students to write and talk about their feelings. Here is a sampling of responses by kindergarten, first- and third-grade students at Berylwood Elementary School in Simi Valley:
"War is bad, because people try to kill other people. My cousin's dad was in a war, and he was in a jet. It went up and down and crashed, and my Uncle Louie was killed."
"I think we should just cancel the war and let the people come back home."
"War is a bad thing, because we are fighting for gas. Lots of people could get killed."
"We are going to fight about a real reason, gas. I don't want to go there, because I could get shot by other guys. My biggest brother is old enough to go there. He is 14 1/2."
"I hope there is no more war. People die. We won't see them if they are dead, even if they were our best friend."
"My cousin's daddy left to go to the war. She is living with us. We cry every night, because we miss him."
"I'm scared of the war, because many people are going to die. I hope the presidents know what they are doing."
"Today, my mom and I talked about war. She told me how a lot of people get hurt, and a lot of people die--even babies. I've been lucky. I am 8 years old, and I haven't had to know about war."
"I am scared and frightened about the war. I am afraid that all of us might get killed. My next-door neighbor is in the armed forces, and I am afraid he might get killed too."
"I think President Bush should help Kuwait."
"Fighting for Kuwait's freedom is important. If I was old enough, I would go and fight Iraq. Saddam Hussein should go back to Iraq and stop torturing his soldiers and other people. If there was a way to stop Saddam Hussein from using the chemical weapons on the people, I would try to do it."
"No people should try to take over another country, because this is what happens. The people in war are missed by their families. I think we should get together and have peace. Children don't know what's happening when their mom or dad leaves and doesn't come back for a long time, or they might not ever come back."
"One of my friend's brothers is in Saudi Arabia. I worry a lot about him. I wish that Iraq would give us the oil that we need so we wouldn't have to have a war."
"I feel so sad for the people who are going to fight the war. A lot of mothers will be without their children, and a lot of children will be without their parents. All of us should pray to the Lord for the Iraq president to leave Kuwait. This event should be an experience for the rest of the countries in the world to learn how to live in peace."