I just visited a 7th grade social studies classroom and I walked into the class debating the question:
Was the capture and killing of Osama Bin Laden justice or revenge?
It's a topic which garners passionate responses from those who have a context from which to approach it. 9/11 is the defining moment of the Millennial Generation. For us, we remember vividly where we were when the Towers were attacked. We remember the pictures and the people - seared into our personal and national conscience. Most of us would not hesitate to answer this question, to jump in and offer our perspective.
The 7th grade was in pre-school on 9/11 - younger than the students President Bush was reading to when he heard the news about the attacks and we all saw his face drop. Their world has always been colored by 9/11, yet they did not experience it. So their answers to the question above may offer some insights to how our culture has adapted since the war on terrorism began.
It is one of the strengths of an independent school that a teacher can spend a significant amount of their classroom time peeling the onion of tough current event topics like this one.