What do students born after 9/11 learn about it in NJ schools?
Remember the 9/11 attacks?
Most New Jersey adults have vivid memories of that fateful day 21 years ago when radical Islamic terrorists with Al Qaeda flew hijacked jetliners into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania, but many school kids know very little if anything about the attacks.
State Sen. Dick Codey, D-Essex, is sponsoring a measure that would require all public school districts to include age-appropriate instruction on the events of Sept. 11, 2001, in elementary, middle and high school social studies classes.
“They need to know that it did in fact happen, the losses were staggering, and we were attacked, in a war,” he said. “They should never forget it, never forget the bastards that did what they did.”
He stressed the 9/11 attacks marked an important point in our history and we need to make sure future generations are aware of it.
Not a good day for America
“We lost thousands of people, it wasn’t a good day for America, and we need to know and understand and appreciate all of those people who lost their lives,” said Codey.
He stressed the firefighters who perished saving people as the Twin Towers collapsed, those in the Pentagon who helped get others out of the burning structure after a plane crashed there, and the passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 who fought back and forced the hijackers to crash the plane before it could kill more civilians on the ground must never be forgotten.
“We need to know who our heroes are, what was the price, and what do we do to prevent it from happening ever again, America was under attack and they need to know that,” he said.
The measure calls for students to be taught about:
• The historical context of the attacks
• A timeline of the day as the events unfolded
• The heroic actions of police, firefighters and other first responders in rescue and recovering operations
• The heroic sacrifice of the passengers of United Airlines Flight 93
• The outpouring of humanitarian, charitable and volunteer assistance and support that occurred after the events of that day.
Codey said his legislation also requires all public schools in New Jersey to hold an annual school assembly so students can discuss what happened.
He pointed out that these school gatherings will also provide students with age-appropriate opportunities for discussion on conflict resolution, diversity and tolerance for people of different religions and cultures.
“It wasn’t an official war but it was an attack on America, and those who lost their lives are heroes,” said Codey.
He said the measure has been passed in the State Senate so hopefully will be approved shortly in the Assembly and “by the next 9/11, the next school year it will become a subject that is taught in our schools.”
David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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