NPR

Teaching Sept. 11 To Students Who Were Born After The Attacks

Years after Sept. 11, some schools are grappling with how to teach the terrorist attacks and their aftermath to a new generation of students.
Bernadette Ortiz holds up her daughter, Adriana, last year as she looks for the name of her grandfather, New York City Police Officer Edwin Ortiz, at a wall commemorating fallen officers in New York City. Families gathered at the wall following a procession in Lower Manhattan to mark the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks and honor officers who were killed. / Spencer Platt / Getty Images

"Never forget" became a national rallying cry after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Yet America's schools — where collective memory is shaped — are now full of students who never knew. Because they weren't alive then. As such, many teachers struggle with whether and how to teach the attacks and their aftermath.

According to one survey, only about 20 states include anything in depth about the events of that fateful day in their high school social studies curriculum.

And when they are taught, critics say, it's often through a narrow lens.

Ask students born after

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