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Teaching 9/11 to high school students who were born after the tragedy

Published: Sep. 11, 2021 at 10:21 AM EDT
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FAIR HAVEN, Vt. (WCAX) - High school students who were born about five years after 9/11 are learning about the tragic event that has shaped the world we live in today.

Some teachers have had to change their lessons plans about 9/11 over the years now that they’re teaching the event to students who weren’t alive to witness it.

Social Studies teacher Michael Bruce was in his second week of teaching when 9/11 happened. Now twenty years later, he continues the discussion with his students.

“Eventually, we got to a point where they didn’t remember it because they were too young, or now we’re at a point where my students weren’t even born yet,” Bruce said.

Bruce says to go along with his teachings, he is also having the students interview someone who was alive that day to get their perspective.

Tenth grader Julia Carrara believes 9/11 should be talked about in schools every day.

Carrara says there are laws in place to protect people now, but she wishes she lived in a world where getting on an airplane wasn’t so strict.

“I see why they would want people to be very safe, but it makes me feel unsafe,” she said.

Some schools say the day comes too early in the school calendar to add it to the lesson plan. Others just hold a moment of silence.

But Brattleboro’s Police Chief, Norma Hardy, responded to Ground Zero and says all students need to learn more about that day.

“I believe this event should be taught in schools... it’s not. I believe it should be,” Hardy said. “Because you know, we learned about Pearl Harbor, we knew about Pearl Harbor and here we were attacked on our own soil in our own backyard.”

Even though this is a new generation of kids, Bruce says he is still asked ‘Why would someone do this?’

“It doesn’t do an disservice to the kids, because it helps them understand why things are happening in today’s world,” Bruce said.

Bruce says it’s important, even more so now, to teach 9/11 to kids because they didn’t live through it.

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