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Codey Bill to Require Instruction on the Events of September 11, 2001 in Public Schools Passes Senate

Trenton – In an effort to ensure students are learning about important events in United States history, the Senate today approved legislation sponsored by Senator Richard Codey which would require school districts to include age-appropriate instruction on the events of September 11, 2001.


“The events that unfolded on September 11, 2001 remain one of this country’s darkest tragedies,” said Senator Codey (D-Essex/Morris). “In the 21 years since, an entire generation of students have gone through the education system with no personal memory of this day and how life was altered for many Americans. Those of us who lived through September 11, 2001 think back to our emotions from that day as well as the impact the attacks had on the lives greater than our own. Those who lost loved ones, those where were on those planes, in the towers, the first responders; may we never see another day like that again. As we continue forward, we must make certain that schools are educating our students on this tragedy so that they can understand what happened that day and how it has shaped our country. Additionally, it is imperative that we educate our students on topics related to this day, such as tolerance and diversity, so that they can grow up without the prejudices that arose in many Americans 20 years ago.”


Under the bill, S-713, the events of September 11, 2001 would be required to be implemented in the curriculum of elementary, middle, and high school students as part of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards in Social Studies. Instruction would include the historical context of the attacks, a timeline of the day, the heroic actions of first responders and the passengers of United Airlines Flight 93 and the outpouring of support that occurred immediately following the events of that day and how students can instill those traits into everyday life.


Additionally, the bill would also require each public school to organize a commemorative event to enhance student awareness of the attacks on September 11, 2001. This would include information concerning the events as well as the opportunity for age-appropriate discussions on conflict resolution, diversity, and tolerance for people of different religions and cultures.


The bill was released from the Senate by a vote of 37-0.