Different approach to teach 9/11 to today’s students

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Those of us old enough to have lived through or remember 9/11 will likely never forget what we saw or felt that day.

But what about today's students who learn about it in the classroom and not through their own eyes?

"They know planes hit the Twin Towers but they don't understand the magnitude of what happened afterwards," said Grissom High School government and economics teacher Suzanne Bailey.

From increased airport security to the war on terrorism, much of what is taken as 'the norm' today stemmed from the day our quality of life was attacked.

While the images are vivid to most of us, Bailey fears it may become another chapter in a history book.

"I think there is a risk," said Bailey. "That if your not personally connected that it seems like something that happened so long ago."

So she and other teachers rely on images and recollections.

"I've had students who had parents or relatives who were in the Pentagon that day," said Bailey, who added that those personal stories make it so much more palpable for students.

In Huntsville, thereĀ is a special circumstance because of the heavy military and government connections.

"Very few classes don't have a number of people who are involved," Bailey explains. "I have one student whose mom is deployed to Afghanistan for one year today."


The social studies teacher also says that teachers feel 9/11 needs to be memorialized, and that resources dedicated to providing material -- like the 9/11 museum -- help bridge the gap for today's students.