© 2023 WSHU
NPR News & Classical Music
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

House resolution requests that all 50 states teach 9/11 history

David Baxendale

U.S. Representative Andrew Garbarino (R-NY) wants all 50 states to include the events of the 9/11 terror attacks in primary and secondary school curriculums.

“It is imperative to educate the next generation of Americans about the events of September 11, 2001, so as to prepare future leaders, members of Congress, servicemembers, homeland security professionals and everyday Americans, with valuable insights and context critical to preventing future attacks on the United States,” Garbarino said in a House resolution on Friday.

This year marked the 21st anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon. Today, only 14 states require the events of 9/11 to be taught in schools: New York, Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland.

The most recent state to adopt it was in May when Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed legislation that made it mandatory for students to learn about the attacks on Sept. 11.

All other states, even those close to New York, like Connecticut and New Jersey, do not have any statewide requirements for it in their curriculums. Many classrooms around the tri-state region hold moments of silence around the day of remembrance.

“Failing to educate the next generation of Americans about the events of September 11, 2001, would be a disservice to the memories of the 2,997 innocent individuals who were murdered on that day, as well as the thousands of first responders and survivors who have been diagnosed with or have died as a result of 9/11-related cancers and other illnesses in the 21 years since the attacks,” Garbarino said.

The U.S. Department of Education cannot legally supervise or direct any curriculum. Education is largely left to the states to decide. For Garbarino’s resolution to succeed, all 50 states would have to agree individually to include Sept. 11 in school curriculums.

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum offers lesson plans on its website for students in grades 3-12.

Sydney is a former news intern at WSHU.