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Senate Committee Passes Bill Mandating Schools Teach About 9/11

​A state Senate bill mandating all Florida public schools teach students about the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, passed an education committee this morning.

SB 1422 seeks to add "the events surrounding the terrorist attacks occurring on September 11, 2001, and the impact of those events on the nation" to the list of subjects specifically required by state law to be on school curricula. Already on the list are the Bill of Rights, the Civil War, and "the benefits of sexual abstinence," among others.

It's hard to believe, but there are high-schoolers who were too young to...

... remember much of what happened that day.

The bill's sponsor, Republican Sen. Thad Altman, said in a news release that "it's important that our students have a keen understanding of the historical context of this event," but is 11 years enough time to be able to figure out historical anything? We're still fighting one(ish) war spurred by the attack. Were there any laws about teaching Pearl Harbor Day while we were still banging around Europe?

Altman represents parts of Brevard, Orange, and Seminole counties in District 24. The companion bill in the House hasn't seen any action this month.

And, just for fun, here are the rest of the state-mandated instruction points, from a Senate analysis document:

  • The history and content of the Declaration of Independence, to include specific consents which include in part including national sovereignty, and natural law;
  • The history, meaning, significance, and effect of the provisions of the Constitution of the United States with emphasis on each of the ten amendments that make up the Bill of Rights; 
  • The arguments in support of adopting our republican form of government, as they are embodied in the most important of the Federalist Papers;
  • Flag education, including proper flag display and flag salute;
  • The elements of civil government, including the primary functions of and interrelationships between the Federal Government, the state, and its counties, municipalities, school districts, and special districts;
  • The history of the United States, including the period of discovery, early colonies, the War for Independence, the Civil War, the expansion of the United States to its present boundaries, the world wars, and the civil rights movement to the present;
  • The history of the Holocaust;
  • The history of African Americans;
  • The elementary principles of agriculture;
  • The true effects of all alcoholic beverages and narcotics upon the human body and mind;
  • Kindness to animals;
  • The history of the state;
  • The conservation of natural resources;
  • Comprehensive health education that addresses concepts of community health; consumer health; environmental health; family life, including in part, an awareness of the benefits of sexual abstinence as the expected standard and the consequences of teenage pregnancy; 
  • mental and emotional health; and dating violence and abuse;
  • Such additional materials, subjects, courses, or fields in such grades as are prescribed by law or by rules of the State Board of Education and the district school board in fulfilling the requirements of law;
  • The study of Hispanic contributions to the United States;
  • The study of women's contributions to the United States;
  • The nature and importance of free enterprise to the United States economy.
  • A character-development program in kindergarten through grade 12; and
  • In order to encourage patriotism, the sacrifices that veterans have made in serving our country and protecting democratic values worldwide.

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