Stories left untold

Schools should broaden 9/11 education

More stories from Emma Ruggiero
Emma Ruggiero

More stories from Emma Ruggiero

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The aftershocks of the September 11, 2001 attacks still send tremors through the nation over a decade and a half later, yet students only have a few minutes each year to learn of the catastrophic event that changed America – and the rest of the world – forever.

Schools need to implement the subject of 9/11 into their lesson plans to help students understand the devastation that the nation faced as well as the impact it had on today’s society. This way, students can understand the continuous effects of the attacks.

Though some people say students cannot handle such a sensitive topic, students should learn about this significant event in American history. As those who lived during the attacks advance into adulthood, more and more high school students will simply see the attacks as a terrible tragedy that happened long ago and not something that shaped millions of lives.Many people forget the deadly consequences the attacks had on the rest of the world. To help honor the fallen victims of the 9/11 attacks in the United States as well as the war in Afghanistan that escalated as a result, the lesson plans should focus on the personal stories of those involved in these tragedies.

Not all students understand how the outcomes of the attacks affect life today. The enhanced airport security, intensified surveillance and increase in deportations exist because of the 9/11 attacks. Additionally, many Muslims suffer harmful stigma directed toward them with the “Muslim terrorist” stereotype. Instructors should show stories from ethnic groups who endure discrimination and offer students a different perspective on the attacks’ societal influence.

In order to both educate students on the events of 9/11 and help them understand the social and personal impact it had, schools should integrate special lessons into the curriculum and include anecdotes from witnesses, families of victims, people involved in the war, and others who have a personal connection to the attacks. Teachers should also encourage students to discuss their opinions on the matter and think about how the attacks affect them and their peers. The devastation of the September 11 attacks did not last for just one day, therefore students should not just have one day to learn about it. By broadening the subject, students will create their own connection to the events and sympathize with the attacks that shook the world.