Local News

Clinton's Woes Affect Area Children

Posted September 10, 1998

— WithKenneth Starr's reporton the Clinton scandal now on the Web and the issue dominating the news, young children are hearing some very adult language.

Like most people, the sixth graders at Bailey Elementary School have strong opinions about the President.

"He should have told the truth in the first place," said one student.

But this scandal involves more than just deception. It includes some delicate sexual subjects.

So far, classroom discussions in Julie Tullio's classroom have focused more on political issues than questions about sex.

"I have not yet, but if they come up, I'll just in a mature fashion tell them and explain to them and if they have any further questions, I'll answer them as honestly as I possibly can," said Tullio.

If the questions become too sexually-oriented, Tullio says she'll refer the child to his or her parents.

The scandal has also made its way into classroom discussions at Southern Nash High School, where students have a better understanding of the allegations.

These students keep up with the news, and now they can read the Starr report themselves on the Web.

"It's all over the news and it's obviously affecting everything that's going on," said a student.

Teachers say their job is to help older students learn from this political firestorm, and talk about it maturely.

"It's a big issue for the country as a whole, and it's important to the parents of the kids and it's important to us as adults, it's important to them also," said Robert Carter, a teacher at Southern Nash.

Educators say it's a good sign that children have opinions, because that probably means their parents are talking with them at home about the scandal.


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