History class important for students who didn’t live through 9/11

Sep 11, 2018, 4:54 AM | Updated: 10:29 am
(AP Photo/Moshe Bursuker)...
(AP Photo/Moshe Bursuker)
(AP Photo/Moshe Bursuker)

PHOENIX — High school history teachers are seeing classrooms filled with students who were not yet born or are too young to remember the day the Twin Towers fell.

Bryan Rossi (Mountain Ridge High School Photo)

“I have to go back and rehash with the students as to what led to the attacks, because they understand we were attacked, but they don’t understand why,” Bryan Rossi, a government and U.S. history teacher at Mountain Ridge High School in Glendale, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Monday.

Starting with a journal note at the beginning of each class period, Rossi asks his students to all write down what they do know about Sept. 11, 2001. Then he gauges their knowledge and begins an open discussion on the terrorist attacks.

“I like to use primary documents. I like to use video from that day,” he said. “It’s one thing to talk about it, but it’s another thing to actually see it.”

Rossi said there are plenty of students who don’t know much about what happened on the four flights that were hijacked that day.

“When people stood up on a flight and fought back with the terrorists, started calling their loved ones, and the Pennsylvania flight that had to ditch because the men had broken into the cockpit,” he said.

“I try to bring up the details to teach them the awareness and gravity of the attack.”

Explaining what led to the attacks and how their impact is still felt today, from airport security to military action, plays a major role in the lessons.

Rossi wants to leave a lasting impression on his students regarding what happened that day by using plenty of visual aspects in a PowerPoint presentation.

“I show them vivid photos of that day as well as different video clips, not just from helicopters but also from people watching from their apartments and other office buildings,” he said.

One aspect that history teachers now face are conspiracy theories.

“There is so much online and my students are always on YouTube, and it’s constant conspiracy theory after conspiracy theory all about 9/11,” Rossi said.

Rossi encourages his students to talk to their parents and older peers about that day to get their perspective and learn more about it.

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History class important for students who didn’t live through 9/11