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OmegaNYC
April 30th, 2009, 10:44 AM
FEMA pulls 'A Scary Thing Happened' kids coloring book which depicts Sept. 11 scene of WTC burning

By Benjamin Peim (http://www.nydailynews.com/authors/Benjamin%20Peim) and Corky Siemaszko (http://www.nydailynews.com/authors/Corky%20Siemaszko)
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
Updated Wednesday, April 29th 2009, 3:49 PM
http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2009/04/30/amd_coloring_book.jpg FEMA/Daily News photo illustration Page from the FEMA controversial coloring book - digitally colored in.







Heckuva job, FEMA (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/FEMA).

The government agency that bungled the Hurricane Katrina (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Hurricane+Katrina) response has yanked a kiddie coloring book from its site called "A Scary Thing Happened" that depicts the burning twin towers on the cover - with a plane heading straight for one of them.

On page 12, the stomach-churning 9/11 image is repeated not once but three times, complete with flames - for kids to color.

"You might hear about it again and again on the T.V. or radio or read about it in the newspaper," it says on the page.

The Federal Emergency Management Association pulled the downloadable coloring book from its site last week before a White House (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/The+White+House) genius gave New York (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/New+York) a 9/11 flashback by buzzing the city with one of the presidential planes and an F-16 jet.

"FEMA is currently reviewing all web content designed and posted by the previous administration," said FEMA spokesman Clark Stevens (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Clark+Stevens).
Meanwhile, New Yorkers who were shown the book saw just one color - red.

"I feel disrespected," said Jason Owens (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Jason+Owens), 20, of Manhattan (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Manhattan), who was with his 3-year-old son. "I feel like I should punch the person who did this in the face."

Standing with her goddaughter, 43-year-old Risat Jabeen of Brooklyn (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Brooklyn), said she was shocked FEMA would find it inoffensive.

"Kids color for fun so these things shouldn't be in coloring books," she said. "So many people died that day."

Vanessa Bell (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Vanessa+Bell), 38, of Bronx (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/The+Bronx), said there's no way she'd let her 5-year-old daughter color in that book. "It just makes kids feel depressed," she said.

The coloring book was dreamed up by the emergency response team in largely rural Freeborn County (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Freeborn+County), Minn. (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Minnesota) - after it was ravaged by a tornado, said Rose Olmsted (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Rose+Olmsted), a county official.

"It was developed to help children make some sense after a disaster," said Olmsted. "I have a letter from FEMA in 2003 applauding us for the coloring book."

At the time, the agency was run by Michael Brown (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Michael+Brown), who became infamous when former President Bush (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/George+W.+Bush) praised him for doing a "heckuva job" even as New Orleans (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/New+Orleans) was drowning.

Olmsted said the coloring book was handed out to thousands of kids over the years - in the U.S. (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/United+States) and as far away as Australia (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Australia) - to help them cope.

"We never had any complaints until now," she said.

Asked whether she could understand that a New York parent might not want their kid coloring in such an image, Olmsted said, "This is not about traumatizing them."

Marlys Jentoft (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Marlys+Jentoft), a 68-year-old grandmother of 10 and a Red Cross (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/International+Federation+of+Red+Cross+and+Red+Cres cent+Societies) volunteer, drew the pictures inside the book.

Jentoft told The Smoking Gun (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/TheSmokingGun.com), which posted the book on its site, that she did not give much thought to including the 9/11 images.

"I feel like it was happening in the world and kids saw it," she said. "It is life."

Ninjahedge
April 30th, 2009, 11:49 AM
"It's life"

OK, when is the "Old Yeller" coloring book coming out, complete with dead Yeller?

How about people being blown up overseas?

The thing is, this is a pretty fine, but definite line they crossed. Showing kids scary things and telling them about it is one thing, but making a coloring book out of it is just not right.

ZippyTheChimp
April 30th, 2009, 12:17 PM
Children and morbidity

Of course this is an aberrant combination, with no precedent in history.

1665 children's rhyme (Bubonic Plague):

Ring around the rosies,
A pocket full of posies,
Ashes, ashes,We all fall down.

1918 children's rhyme (Spanish flu)

I had a little bird
Its name was Enza.
I opened the window
And in-flu-enza.

Ninjahedge
April 30th, 2009, 02:10 PM
That was their way of dealing with the situation Zip.

Are you saying that our society is the same as the one in the 1600's that condoned various behaviors that we today consider to be criminal, or maybe beak to the turn of the century where child labor was still being used in many areas across the US?

http://www.historyplace.com/unitedstates/childlabor/coupling-boy.jpg

http://www.historyplace.com/unitedstates/childlabor/


You know as well as the rest of us zip, context is everything.

ZippyTheChimp
April 30th, 2009, 07:49 PM
The Black Death was "condoned" by medieval Europe. LOL.

No, I'm saying that children are resilient, always have been, and can handle a lot more adversity than some idiot adults give them credit for.

Where did you get the idea that I was talking about what is criminal in one era vs another?

195Broadway
April 30th, 2009, 09:18 PM
The coloring book was dreamed up by the emergency response team in largely rural Freeborn County (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Freeborn+County), Minn. (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Minnesota) - after it was ravaged by a tornado
I don't see a problem with a coloring book about a tornado. One about a terrorist attack, I'm not so sure.


"I feel disrespected," said Jason Owens (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Jason+Owens), 20, of Manhattan (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Manhattan), who was with his 3-year-old son. "I feel like I should punch the person who did this in the face."
A twenty year old with the maturity level of a 10 yeaar old that has a 3 year old son. Does anyone else here find it a bit odd that the author chose to quote this individual?


I'm saying that children are resilient, always have been, and can handle a lot more adversity than some idiot adults give them credit for.
I think there is a lot of truth in this.

Ninjahedge
May 1st, 2009, 08:54 AM
The Black Death was "condoned" by medieval Europe. LOL.

No, I'm saying that children are resilient, always have been, and can handle a lot more adversity than some idiot adults give them credit for.

Where did you get the idea that I was talking about what is criminal in one era vs another?


Not criminal, but accepted.

Just because a kid was allowed to be smacked around for the littlest of things no more than 50 years ago does not mean we have the right to backhand them in the mall because they start whining about Pokemon....


OK, maybe that does not fit right, but "ring around the rosie" was a way to almost divert attention, to trivialize a serious problem. The children's resilience was something our own President perfected and used in office.

Denial.

ZippyTheChimp
May 1st, 2009, 10:20 AM
You're completely missing my point.

It's about the capacity of a child (in any era) to handle negative situations, not what is acceptable behavior, something that changes over generations.


"I feel disrespected," said Jason Owens, 20, of Manhattan, who was with his 3-year-old son. "I feel like I should punch the person who did this in the face."Jason Owens is disrespected; nothing about the feelings of his son. The reality is that anyone under 10 years old has no personal connection to the WTC or 09/11, but they'll find out about it...
"You might hear about it again and again on the T.V. or radio or read about it in the newspaper," it says on the page.

"It was developed to help children make some sense after a disaster," said Olmsted.She has it exactly right.

Just because children are little and not self-sufficient, people assume they're not aware of their environment, and don't attempt to make sense of it. Children would be able to empathize with a traumatic event, but they would lack the ability to explain it. That's what adults are for - to explain the coloring book, not hide it.


New study shows children are hard-wired for empathy (http://chronicle.uchicago.edu/080814/empathy.shtml)


Although our study did not tap into explicit moral judgment, perceiving an individual intentionally harming another person is likely to elicit the awareness of moral wrongdoing in the observer...

Thirteen of the children thought that the situations were unfair, and they asked about the reason that could explain this behavior.The people that are complaining are transferring their own trauma onto their children, instead of treating them as individuals.


Denial.Strange you should say that, since that's what you're advocating.

Ninjahedge
May 1st, 2009, 03:55 PM
Actually, you are right.

BTW, you know anyone who would be interested in a coloring book depicting the Holocaust?

lofter1
May 1st, 2009, 04:34 PM
Not a coloring book but a great graphic novel on that subject:

MAUS (http://www.randomhouse.com/pantheon/graphicnovels/mauscomp.html) by Art Spiegelman; in 1992 it was given a Pulitzer Prize Special Award.

Ninjahedge
May 1st, 2009, 05:06 PM
Not a coloring book but a great graphic novel on that subject:

MAUS (http://www.randomhouse.com/pantheon/graphicnovels/mauscomp.html) by Art Spiegelman; in 1992 it was given a Pulitzer Prize Special Award.


Are you saying all comics are for kids?

(just so you know, that was a baited question....;) )