High school teachers address post-9/11 stereotypes

Schools across the country will mark the anniversary of the September 11 attacks next week with memorials, moments of silence, and special lesson plans, U.S. News reports. Teaching high school students about 9/11 and its aftermath is a lofty task, as most students were not old enough to remember and understand the attacks, and many educators will need to wade through the emotions and stereotypes already woven into the narrative.

“I really don’t envy teachers who have to face this enormously complex, massive material and present it in the context of a short lesson or two short lessons,” says Clifford Chanin, director of educational programs for the 9/11 Memorial in New York City. “This event obviously is a horrible, stark moment in time, but has very complicated antecedents and it’s had very complicated consequences.”

Among those consequences: a surge in anti-Muslim sentiment and broad stereotypes that students who appear to be of Arab descent have likely faced…

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