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PBS to show terrorism simulation documentary

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A documentary of a simulated terrorist attack that took place at Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis in October will premiere on Indianapolis PBS affiliate WFYI, Channel 20, Jan. 21 at 7:30 p.m. There will also be a private reception and screening of the film Jan. 20.

"Tough Decisions: Defending the Homeland" will offer an inside look at the Oct. 23 simulation that engaged approximately 50 students of the law school and the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis.

Students were in separate rooms that represented various locales, including Indianapolis, Washington, D.C., and Tel Aviv. Participants were told what their roles would be in the simulation ahead of time and were given time for outside research on what someone in their role could or would do, including what they had learned in professor Shawn Boyne's comparative national security law course.

Boyne, along with other experts and professors, helped coordinate the event and was on hand as the students dealt with an "attack" on Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Part of the simulation was that the stadium was a gathering place for a national conference of high school students who belonged to Future Farmers of America. There was an actual FFA national conference in Indianapolis the weekend of the simulation, but no actual terror attack.

Among the issues students addressed were the legal implications of their decisions, what would happen if there were problems with technology for communications, and other questions someone in their position would have to answer in a real terrorism situation.

The documentary was filmed by students from professor Michael R. Maitzen's video production class in IUPUI's School of Liberal Arts, and a professional documentary team from WFYI Productions.

Indiana Lawyer reported on the event in the Nov. 11-24, 2009, edition, "Students simulate attacks."

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