City school kids evicted from 9/11 memorial site after dropping trash in fountains during field trip
New York Daily News: A group of Brooklyn students on a school trip to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum were booted from the hallowed site after they callously hurled trash into its fountains.
The vile vandals from Junior High School 292 in East New York treated the solemn memorial — its reflecting pools honoring the nearly 3,000 people killed in the terror attacks — like a garbage dump.
“They kicked us out because of littering in the water. Kids were throwing baseballs in the pond thing,” said eighth-grader Anthony Price, 14, of East New York, who insisted he wasn’t one of the troublemakers. In addition to the baseballs, witnesses reported seeing empty plastic soda bottles and other refuse in the water on Thursday.
“They were making jokes and throwing stuff in the fountain. It didn’t seem like a big deal,” added another student on the trip who refused to give his name.
Department of Education officials have launched an investigation into the students’ shenanigans.
Tourists visiting the site Saturday said they were disgusted by the students’ filthy acts. “That is an absolute disgrace,” said Sharon Hooks, 55, a school teacher from Hartford, Conn. “I don’t care if these children were too young to remember the events of that day. They need to be taught to be respectful.”
Rene LaRosa, of Saddle Brook, N.J., pinned the blame squarely on the shoulders of the students. “If these kids were in middle school, then they’re old enough to know better,” said LaRosa, a preschool teacher. “It’s a memorial. They showed an absolute lack of respect.”
Even fellow students were offended. “It’s terrible,” said Walter Douglas, 13, who said he was not on the trip but heard about the incident from a friend. “You’re supposed to be there to remember the people.”
In a separate incident on the same field trip, kids said one of their classmates was busted for attempting to bring firearm ammunition to the site. “The kid had three bullets when they went through the metal detector,” said a JHS 292 student who wouldn’t give his name because he feared the other kids might take revenge.
“All the kids saw the cops come and take the bullets,” the boy added. Police said they discovered three .33-caliber rounds in a plastic bin in the security area of the monument on Thursday, but they did not make any arrests.
Memorial spokesman Michael Frazier confirmed Saturday that the students were removed from the site for tossing refuse into the reflecting pools, which mark the footprints of the twin towers.
“It really is so sad that anyone would disrespect the souls that were lost in the terrorist attacks back on 9/11,” said Al Hagan, president of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association. “One can only hope that these children do not become lost and that they learn from their mistakes.”
“No one was disrespecting. It wasn’t nothing like that,” said one student. “No one was being serious. Everyone was kind of bored and it was just something to do.”
The 9/11 Memorial opened for the 10th anniversary of the 2001 attacks last year. It is “a tribute of remembrance and honor” to those killed on Sept. 11, 2001.
Where were the “teachers” while this was taking place? Why weren’t they controlling the kids? Disrespectful little brats.