Teaching Kids the Importance of 9/11 Before it’s Too Late


Jessica Phelps/The Advocate

September 11th, 2001 is said to be a day that will be never forgotten. On this day, the terrorist group al Qaeda attacked America resulting in 2,977 deaths and over 10,000 injuries. This day caused a powerful feeling of patriotism in the nation. Although the impact of this day on the nation was significant, only 14 out of 50 states in the United States require in-school instruction about this tragic event in American history. 

New York, Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Maryland are the only states in the nation that have schools teach kids about the events that took place that day. That leaves 36 states with no requirements for teaching this historic event. Although it is not required, it is possible that some teachers still teach about this event in American history. However, that does not mean that all teachers will do so and it does not mean that all teachers will go into depth about the event like they should.

It is vital that educators teach the next generation about emotional and tragic events such as 9/11 in schools since they helped shape the nation into what it is today.  Schools need to provide resources for teachers to be able to cover this topic correctly. In the article 9/11 Is History Now. Here’s How American Kids Are Learning About It in Class by Olivia B. Waxman, teachers were surveyed about available resources for them to teach their students about 9/11. The survey came back stating that “20% of participants said they didn’t have the curriculum or materials they needed to discuss 9/11 and the War on Terror.”  In the same article it is mentioned that there are many opposing views over the event that causes a hold up on instruction. Waxman later writes about Kayla Turner, a high school social studies teacher in Raleigh, NC trying to teach her students about 9/11. Turner shared that “she’s gotten pushback from parents for making a point to tell her students that the Islamist extremists who hijacked the planes on 9/11 don’t represent the views of all Muslims.” In addition, there was a debate on whether pictures taken of the event should be shown in classrooms or not. Pictures help students who were not present on the day of the attacks comprehend and sympathize even more regarding the event. 

It’s been 21 years since these events have occurred and it’s unbelievable to think that some kids in America might not even be aware that it happened at all. Waxman includes an interview in her article with 14 year old Che Rose from Jersey City in which she mentions that 9/11 is “not really talked about a lot.” Her 12 year-old sister, Jordana follows up with that “at home we get more facts.” How could an event so significant to the country not be talked about much within schools? 

As this event is still relatively new to America, it is especially important to keep alive the legacy of all who dropped everything to rush to the scene in order to lend a helping hand. As a nation, it is important to never forget the events of 9/11 and how they affected the nation. Schools have a responsibility to pass down the stories and facts to the younger generations so the efforts of many brave people on that day won’t go unnoticed and the stories of that day won’t be forgotten by the nation.