Two North Jersey lawmakers want to ensure the history of Sept. 11, 2001 is taught in Garden State classrooms.
The State Senate unanimously approved the proposed law from Anthony Bucco and Richard Codey on March 24, requiring school districts to include age-appropriate lessons for elementary, middle, and high school students to include instruction on the events of September 11, 2001 as part of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards in Social Studies.
“After we were attacked on 9/11, ‘We will never forget’ became the rallying cry for a shaken nation,” said Bucco (R-25). “Now, 21 years later, we must educate a new generation not only of the horrible losses and psychological damages of that day, but also the emotional strength we all shared as Americans came together like no other time since World War II.”
Under the bill, the instruction would provide information on the historical context of the attack; a timeline of the day as events unfolded; the heroic actions of the police, firefighters, paramedics, and other first responders in the rescue and recovery of victims; and the outpouring of humanitarian, charitable, and volunteer assistance and support that occurred immediately following Sept. 11.
“The events that unfolded on September 11, 2001 remain one of this country’s darkest tragedies,” said Codey (D-27). “Those of us who lived through (it) think back to our emotions from that day as well as the impact the attacks had on the lives greater than our own. Those who lost loved ones, those where were on those planes, in the towers, the first responders; may we never see another day like that again.”
Day of Events
Instruction would include the historical context of the attacks, a timeline of the day, the heroic actions of first responders and the passengers of United Airlines Flight 93 and the outpouring of support that occurred immediately following the events of that day and how students can instill those traits into everyday life.
The measure requires public schools to to organize a commemorative event to enhance student awareness of the attacks that brought down the Twin Towers in New York City and damaged the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. This would include information concerning the events as well as the opportunity for age-appropriate discussions on conflict resolution, diversity, and tolerance for people of different religions and cultures.
Learning from History
“As we continue forward, we must make certain that schools are educating our students on this tragedy so that they can understand what happened that day and how it has shaped our country,” stated Codey. “Additionally, it is imperative that we educate our students on topics related to this day, such as tolerance and diversity, so that they can grow up without the prejudices that arose in many Americans 20 years ago.”
Bucco added, “The historical significance makes it incumbent on the Legislature to ensure schools are prepared to teach the next generation adequately and responsibly about this compelling incident.”