Includes the attacks on September 11, 2001 in courses of instruction in patriotism and citizenship.
Ayes (17): Flanagan, Farley, Lanza, LaValle, Marcellino, Maziarz, Ranzenhofer, Robach, Seward, Oppenheimer, Addabbo, Avella, Breslin, Montgomery, Serrano, Stavisky, Huntley
Ayes W/R (1): Saland
BILL NUMBER:S5883 REVISED 09/12/11
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to including the attacks on September 11, 2001 in courses of instruction in patriotism and citizenship
PURPOSE: To ensure that current and future generations of New York State school children are appropriately educated on the attacks of September 11, 2001.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section one amends Education Law Section 801 adding the attacks on American soil on September 11, 2001 to the list of courses of instruction in patriotism, citizenship and human rights issues in New York State schools.
Section two sets the effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: On September 11, 2001, America suffered a terrorist attack on its own soil resulting in the loss of over 3,000 lives. The resulting devastation of the World Trade Center in downtown Manhattan, including the destruction of the Twin Towers, the attack on the Pentagon in Washington D.C. and the crash of United Airlines Flight 93 in Pennsylvania left an indelible mark on American and world society and history.
Despite the fact that this historically significant event occurred largely within our own State and its people sustained the greatest losses and sacrifice, many of which continue to this day, there is currently no requirement that this material be included in core curricula, and as a result York schools are required required to teach of it.
We have received complaints from frustrated educators expressing their deep disappointment with the education system in this respect and demanding a legislative solution. The lessons of September 11, 2001 must be required, and not merely suggested, learning in our schools.
To this end, the Social Studies Standards of the State Education Department's Global History and Geography Online Resource provides guidelines for inclusion of "turning point" lessons, which are defined as decisive moments or events marking unique or important historical changes. Although the events of September 11, 2001, the effects of which were felt far beyond the borders of our state and country, certainly meet these criteria, the failure to require that the events of September 11, 2001 be taught in New York State schools persist nonetheless.
This legislation would amend the Education Law to include the events of September 11, 2001 in the currently required courses of instruction in patriotism, citizenship and human rights issues. In so
doing, the legislation would give appropriate weight to the importance of this turning Point in history and ensure that current and future generations of New York students will be properly instructed by requiring that all schools dedicate appropriate time and resources to teaching the events of that day and their impact on our nation.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: This is a new bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the state.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5883 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE September 9, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sens. MARTINS, GOLDEN, ZELDIN, BALL, RANZENHOFER, SEWARD -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to including the attacks on September 11, 2001 in courses of instruction in patriotism and citizenship THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The opening paragraph of subdivision 1 and subdivision 3 of section 801 of the education law, as amended by chapter 574 of the laws of 1997, are amended to read as follows: In order to promote a spirit of patriotic and civic service and obli- gation and to foster in the children of the state moral and intellectual qualities which are essential in preparing to meet the obligations of citizenship in peace or in war, the regents of The University of the State of New York shall prescribe courses of instruction in patriotism, citizenship, and human rights issues, with particular attention to the study of the inhumanity of genocide, slavery (including the freedom trail and underground railroad), the Holocaust,
[and]the mass starva- tion in Ireland from 1845 to 1850, AND THE ATTACKS ON SEPTEMBER 11, 2001, to be maintained and followed in all the schools of the state. The boards of education and trustees of the several cities and school districts of the state shall require instruction to be given in such courses, by the teachers employed in the schools therein. All pupils attending such schools, over the age of eight years, shall attend upon such instruction. 3. The regents shall determine the subjects to be included in such courses of instruction in patriotism, citizenship, and human rights issues, with particular attention to the study of the inhumanity of genocide, slavery (including the freedom trail and underground rail- road), the Holocaust, [and]the mass starvation in Ireland from 1845 toEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD13378-01-1 S. 5883 2
1850, AND THE ATTACKS ON SEPTEMBER 11, 2001, and in the history, mean- ing, significance and effect of the provisions of the constitution of the United States, the amendments thereto, the declaration of independ- ence, the constitution of the state of New York and the amendments ther- eto, and the period of instruction in each of the grades in such subjects. They shall adopt rules providing for attendance upon such instruction and for such other matters as are required for carrying into effect the objects and purposes of this section. The commissioner shall be responsible for the enforcement of such section and shall cause to be inspected and supervise the instruction to be given in such subjects. The commissioner may, in his discretion, cause all or a portion of the public school money to be apportioned to a district or city to be with- held for failure of the school authorities of such district or city to provide instruction in such courses and to compel attendance upon such instruction, as herein prescribed, and for a non-compliance with the rules of the regents adopted as herein provided. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.