Pennsylvania mandates 9/11 education, moment of silence in K-12 schools

21 June 2024- Something that may be extremely hard for some older people or even younger millennials to think about is that all children in K-12 schools today were born well after the tragic events of September 11th, 2001. Not only were they born after 9/11, but they do not have any remembrance for the day as it happened, unfolded, and its aftermath other than just a footnote in a history textbook.

Because of this, 9/11 history and remembrance was mandated to be taught in K-12 schools in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania earlier this week by Governor Josh Shapiro. An amendment to the Public School Code, HB 1097 became Act 25 of 2024 after being authored by Rep Jim Haddock (D-Pittston). The act provides directives to both educators and the Department of Education in Pennsylvania.

All students will be required to partake in a moment of silence across all schools in Pennsylvania to remember those lost during the attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and the failed hijacking that ended over Somerset County in Pennsylvania. Additionally, Haddock’s legislation directs the Department of Education in Pennsylvania to “develop a model curriculum that teaches our kids about the significance of 9/11 and why we can never forget the events of or the lives lost that day.”

“My bill would ensure that future generations of Pennsylvanians understand the events of 9/11, as well as the impact that day continues to have on the lives of all Americans,” said Haddock, D-Luzerne/Lackawanna. “The tragedies that occurred on September 11, 2001, changed our country forever. It is 23 years later, and we are still studying and analyzing the effect that day had on our foreign policy, national security, society and our values.”

Pennsylvania now becomes one of the slim number of states to mandate the teaching of the events on 9/11. Also included on that list are New York, Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee, Arizona, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland.