Our Kids’ Sad Lack of 9/11 Education

“Schools — just like parents — feel awkward teaching kids about 9/11 and terrorism in general,” said Dr. Carole Lieberman, a California psychologist and author of the book “Lion, Tigers and Terrorists — Oh My! How to Protect Your Child in a Time of Terror.” “It is especially easy for them to avoid the subject when the kids were born after 9/11.”

This woeful inadequacy should be corrected, said Lieberman. “Indeed, every school should take a field trip to the 9/11 Museum to give children a proper understanding of history, and how terrorism has affected their lives,” she told LifeZette.

One of the problems that interferes with more complete teaching about 9/11 is simple denial, said Lieberman.

“Too many parents and teachers are in denial about the ongoing threat of terrorism, so they want to protect kids from this reality,” she noted. “But they need to realize that kids are exposed to terrorism on television, radio, and the internet, where they see things that scare them because they don’t understand them. So it’s imperative that children are taught about 9/11 in school, as well as at home.”

Lieberman said she wrote her book for both parents and teachers to share with kids, to give them a gentle introduction to 9/11 and terrorism.

There is some variation in how well schools teach 9/11, Lieberman has found — with private schools, higher grade levels, and schools closer to the sites of the attacks of 9/11 more likely to study it in depth.

Full article: Our Kids’ Sad Lack of 9/11 Education | LifeZette

My mom often beats her head against the wall when she finds out what I didn’t learn about history in school.

I never learned a damn thing about either World War. Not a thing. No, I’m not kidding. I learned about WWII a little in a college history class. War of 1812? Nope. Civil War? A tiny bit.

The only war they taught us about was the Revolutionary War. Other than that, I knew more about Woodstock than major wars.

But I took it upon myself to learn. My parents are history buffs. My mom and dad used to have long conversations about history, and while I couldn’t partake, I listened. And then as I got older I began to read. And I’ll be honest and say that reading didn’t start until late high school, and no, it wasn’t for class (only one book was, and I’ve mentioned that one before: “Night”). I started with WWII, because I wanted to know what Pearl Harbor Day was all about. I happen to have been born on Pearl Harbor Day. And I continued because I wanted to understand what happened in “Night.”

But learning it in school? Perish the thought!

A lot of bits of our history are hard to talk to our children about. Do you think explaining any war to a kid is going to be fun?! How about slavery?! How do you explain how and why the Northern States and the Southern States fought against each other, sometimes brother vs. brother? How do you explain to your daughter that women have been fighting for what she has for generations? How do you explain to boys how the government could draft boys for war but not women? How do you explain the founding of our country? How do you explain the changes and the lifestyles in countries over seas? None of this is easy. History has some really ugly parts, really confusing parts, and parts that almost defy reality.

9/11 is a recent issue. But our kids need to know why their mommy or daddy may be going off to fight in another country. They need to know this wasn’t an isolated incident, and that the threat is still there. Heck, they need to know why politics have gotten so damn ugly, because they’re watching it on TV. But they need to know… so it doesn’t happen again. This is why we teach history! So it doesn’t repeat!

Sit your kids down. Talk to them. Teach them. You don’t need to show them the videos. But you need to talk to them about it. It’s important. I should have learned about Pearl Harbor in school, but I didn’t. A lot of people didn’t (noted by the amount of people in my life who, upon finding out my birthday is on Pearl Harbor Day, actually say, “I wish I’d been born on a holiday!”). Have your kids participate in moments of silence, but explain why we do this. We don’t have moments of silence anymore on Pearl Harbor Day.



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