It has been 18 years since the World Trade Center in New York City was attacked on Sept.11, 2001. Babies born after that event are now entering college, and they are being taught about 9/11 as part of history.
According to a 2017 analysis of state high school social studies academic standards in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, 26 specifically mentioned the 9/11 attacks, nine mentioned terrorism or the war on terror, and 16 didn’t mention 9/11 or terrorism-related examples at all, TIME reported.
Teaching 9/11 as history is thought as a delicate task and the emotional burden that falls on teachers who remember that day, the subject matter is sensitive, and the images and documents that might be used as primary sources are disturbing.
TIME also reported Tuesday on how students are being taught about such a significant moment in history but teaching 9/11 as history is a delicate task as teachers still remember that day and the materials used to inform students are disturbing. Besides, states are not required to follow any national guidelines in terms of teaching the topic, so lessons will vary depending on the teacher or school district.
According to a study led by professor Jeremy Stoddard of the University of Wisconsin/Madison School Of Education, the most popular method of teaching about 9/11 and the War on Terror was showing a documentary or ‘similar video.’
“A lot of the main themes that we saw way back in 2003—in terms of, it’s a day of remembrance, a focus on the first responders and the heroes of the day and the actions they took, the world coming together in response to this horrible terrorist attack—a lot of those themes are still very much the way it’s being taught. Middle schools are focusing a little bit more on first responders and heroes of the day. High school is where you would probably see more of an emphasis on the causes, the events leading up to it and maybe more on the response. High school teachers did talk more about the Patriot Act and surveillance and some of those national-security-versus-civil-liberties types of issues,” Stoddard told TIME.