A decade later, 9/11 has begun to evolve from a current event to part of American history. Right now only 21 states mention the terror attacks of Sept. 11 in their educational standards, some provide lesson plans, but their teachers are not legally required to follow them or even teach it at all.
Only select, dedicated teachers spend their own time and money researching the facts and preparing their own lesson plans. Many others are afraid of saying the wrong thing so they avoid touching the subject overall.
We should have a set curriculum that requires teachers to educate students about such an important part of history. Especially students born at the time of the attacks or even after, who may not even know what the Twin Towers were or what happened to them. They might not understand the significance of that day, why it happened or the impact it had on society.
New York State Sen. Jack Martins says teachers should not have to plow out the best ways to teach on their own time and dime. The lessons should be taught in a way that is uniform and not subject to each individual teacher’s preferences.
The background information of the attacks should be taught with pure, solid facts so as not to blur the lines of truth nor confirm the fear that the government is censoring what is to be taught about the subject.
Teachers should be given a guide or template for what to include in their lesson plans, but should not be spoon-fed word for word.
It is important, however, to make sure that it is being taught and not disregarded just because of concerns over what-to-say or what-not-to-say.
The fact is, the events of 9/11 will always be remembered by those who watched the tragedy unfold right before their ash-stricken eyes or even on the television screen of every news station at the time.
For it to be a resonating part of American history is undeniable.
Some parents are afraid that the issue is too raw of a topic for their children to understand what really happened in a situation so complex.
Students, in their prime, should learn about the events that have been affecting their direct surroundings, politics, and economy ever since. They should be taught and aware of the truth behind the tragedy.
Parents and teachers should remember that when talking about 9/11 with kids and teens, they should find the fine line between sharing their feelings and imposing them.
If children in elementary-level American history can be exposed to events that date back to warring cowboys and Indians, it’s never too early for them to learn about something as recent and vivid as ten years ago.
Martins is proposing a bill that would make teaching 9/11 required by law in New York State. Lawmakers in Albany are expected to vote on it in January.