( 4UMF NEWS ) Students Trash 9/11 Memorial:
“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.”