Less than a week after U.S. armed forces killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, following a nearly decade-long manhunt, the White House held a 30-minute webinar directed at secondary school students and their teachers to describe what happened and answer their questions.
Ben Rhodes, the deputy assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser for strategic communications and speechwriting, told the 2,000 viewers on May 5: “You, as young people, will be the most important part of that future. You will determine what the next chapter in our history is.”
For their part, the students had the same questions adults have been asking the government. They wanted to know why the al-Qaida leader wasn’t captured and brought to trial, how the United States confirmed his identity, and what his death means for the overall threat of terrorism.
A version of this article appeared in the May 11, 2011 edition of Education Week as Students Ask White House Questions About Bin Laden