Bill That Mandates NJ Schools Teach Students About 9/11 Passes Senate

A bill requiring New Jersey schools to teach students about 9/11 just passed the State Senate. Read on for why 3 local lawmakers support it.

TRENTON, NJ — A State Senate bill that requires school districts to include details regarding the events of Sept. 11, 2001, in their curriculum unanimously passed the State Senate last week.

"Today's students weren't born when 9/11 occurred," State Sen. Anthony M. Bucco, one of two primary sponsors of State Senate Bill 713, said in a press release.

"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," Bucco continued.

State Senate Bill 713, which was co-sponsored by State Sen. Richard J. Codey would require elementary, middle and high school students would receive age-appropriate lessons on:

  • the events that led to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001;
  • a timeline of everything that happened on that day;
  • the "heroic actions" of first responders on that day;
  • the "heroic sacrifice" of those who attempted to thwart the United Airlines Flight 93 hijackers; and
  • the enormous amount of volunteer assistance and support that took place in the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11, and ways to replicate it in everyday life.

State Senator and Majority Whip Troy Singleton of Moorestown said it is imperative that those who were not alive when the terrorist attacks occurred on that day in September 2001, or too young to remember the tragic events of that day receive the lessons covered by the bill.

"We must never forget the heroism of the first responders and other bystanders who selflessly served, never forget the unity and outpouring of support in our communities [in] the days and months that followed," he told Patch via email. "Most importantly, never forget the innocent victims who died and their families."

State Sen. Edward Durr of West Deptford said in an interview that it's critical that students learn everything they can about history, even the moments that may not reflect necessarily reflect well on the United States.

"We don't have to be proud of our history, but we don't have to be ashamed of our history," he said. "We always need to pay attention to what took place [in history]."

Another State Senator, James Beach from Cherry Hill, said that students can learn a lot from the events of that fateful day more than 20 years ago.

"The events of September 11th forever changed our country, and it is important that future generations understand the harrowing impact it had," he told Patch. "Beyond the way it has shaped our laws and world politics, students here in New Jersey should grasp the way it affected our state and so many families who lost loved ones that day."

Bucco and Codey's bill now awaits action from the State Assembly Education Committee, according to the New Jersey Legislature's website.

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