Ray Kelly and the NYPD were worried that the 9/11 Museum and Memorial might attract suicides—but on Thursday, it was bratty little kids who were causing all the trouble. According to the News, students from Junior High School 292 in East New York who were on a trip to the site were kicked out of the memorial for throwing baseballs and trash into the reflecting pool. “They kicked us out because of littering in the water. Kids were throwing baseballs in the pond thing,” said 14-year-old Anthony Price, who added he wasn’t one of the troublemakers.
“They were making jokes and throwing stuff in the fountain. It didn’t seem like a big deal,” said another student, who wished to remain anonymous. In addition to the baseballs, witnesses reported seeing empty plastic soda bottles and other garbage in the water. The DOE has launched an investigation, but the News launched their own in the court of public opinion at the memorial yesterday: “That is an absolute disgrace,” said Sharon Hooks, a school teacher from Hartford visiting the site. “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."
This wasn't even the only incident to occur during the middle schoolers trip: kids said one of their classmates was busted for trying to bring live ammunition inside. “The kid had three bullets when they went through the metal detector,” said a JHS 292 student who wouldn’t give his name out of fear of retaliation. “All the kids saw the cops come and take the bullets." Indeed, police say they found three .33-caliber rounds in a plastic bin in the security area of the monument, but no arrests were made. Or maybe they were just given a secret no-jail plea deal on the spot.
“It’s terrible,” said 14-year-old Walter Douglas, who wasn't part of that class, but heard about the incident from a friend. “You’re supposed to be there to remember the people.” As one anonymous kid told the News, it was just a joke and it wasn't a big deal and why are people making such a big deal out of it we were just bored and it was kinda stupid but what else were we supposed to do without our Nintendo 3DS'? “No one was disrespecting. It wasn’t nothing like that,” said one student. “No one was being serious. Everyone was kind of bored and it was just something to do.”