His face just started to turn red," said Tyler, now 13 and in seventh grade. "I thought, personally, he had to go to the bathroom."
For a puzzling seven minutes, the youngsters read aloud from the story "The Pet Goat" while the shaken president followed along in front of the class, trying to come to grips with what he had been told - that a second plane had just hit the World Trade Center and the nation was under terrorist attack.
"He looked like he was going to cry," said Natalia Jones-Pinkney, now 12.
It's true what they say...from the mouths of babes. In fact, check out this stunning footnote:
Suddenly, the morning returned to the script. [then-Education Secretary] Paige spoke to the stunned room of the importance of reading.
"It was so surreal," Sarasota schools spokeswoman Sheila Weiss said. "Everyone in there wanted to get out and find out what was going on, but we couldn't leave."