Last week, Governor Doug Ducey signed legislation to ensure Arizona kids learn about the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, delivering on a promise to work with educators and lawmakers to make it mandatory in Arizona’s schools.
“The events on September 11, 2001 shaped a generation and forever changed America,” said Governor Ducey. “The tragic events that unfolded that morning bound us together and altered how we view the world. We have an obligation to teach our children about the events and ideas that made us who we are as a nation. On that day, we faced an attack on who we are and what we stand for: democracy, liberty and freedom. We’re going to ensure future generations of Arizonans never forget how those values were defended on September 11, 2001.”
House Bill 2325 requires that each year on September 11, every public school in Arizona will dedicate a portion of the school day to observe 9/11 Education Day.
Rep. John Kavanagh of Fountain Hills, who sponsored the bill, has a personal connection to the tragic events of 9/11. Rep. Kavanagh served with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department for 20 years. He knew many of the officers from his department who gave their lives that fateful day.
“Thirty-seven members of my police force valiantly gave their lives trying to save and protect others on that tragic day. I will never forget the pain of that day,” said Rep. Kavanagh. “Now, with this bill, we are ensuring our future generations never forget their sacrifice. Thank you to Governor Ducey for his leadership in civics education.”
Currently, only 14 states require students to receive instruction about the events of September 11, 2001. Arizona would become the 15th.
“It is important that Arizona students learn about the events of 9/11,” said State Board of Education President Dr. Daniel Corr. “By ensuring this day is in lesson plans, our youth will be armed with critical knowledge on the history of our nation and better understand the world we live in now. My thanks to Governor Ducey for his leadership on this issue and civics education.”
The State Board of Education (SBE) will be required to develop a list of recommended resources relating to age-appropriate education on the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 that align with the academic standards prescribed by the SBE.
“We must help our future generations of students – who did not experience the tragedy of September 11, 2001 – understand critical moments in our nation’s history,” said State Board of Education Member Christine Burton. “Now with 9/11 Education Day, we can support teachers with resources to teach and ensure there is time in the school day to ensure we never forget. Thank you to Governor Ducey for signing this legislation.”
The current high school standards include domestic and international terrorism, but allow for instruction on a variety of topics and do not require instruction about 9/11 or our nation’s response to 9/11.
If 9/11 Education Day falls on a day when a public school is not in session, the preceding or following school day is observed in the public school as the holiday.