Schools struggle to teach 9/11 to students too young to remember

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Mr. McInroy said classroom conversations in his district take on a more personal tone. This year’s graduating class was in second grade on Sept. 11, 2001, and he said he frequently rebuffs attempts by radio stations or other media outlets to interview Shanksville students.

The district doesn’t shy away entirely from its place in history. On Sept. 11 each year, Mr. McInroy said, high school students attend memorial services. The district also has a memorial garden dedicated to the victims and their families.

While students in Shanksville, New York City and Washington, D.C., have strong connections to Sept. 11, other high school students may not be as familiar with the attacks and the subsequent events of the war on terrorism.

Ms. Hartmann argued that the Yahoo search numbers are evidence that teachers and school districts need a better approach.

She said she doesn’t have “a plausible explanation” for why uniform Sept. 11 curriculums are not in place, and noted the lessons of that tragic day and the events that have followed can play a key role in instilling a sense of patriotism in students.

“There are lessons [of Sept. 11] to be taught … no matter the discipline, be it science, math, social studies, English,” Ms. Hartmann said. “A good teacher is able to teach in the moment. That moment is now.”

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