Schools should add current events to curriculum

As the tenth anniversary of the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 approached, we watched anniversary specials and dramatic media coverage purely depicting the emotional aspect of the 9/11 attacks. Although it is important for us to respect the lives lost and to reflect together on this tragic event, it is equally essential for us as students to learn the facts of exactly what happened, without the tear-jerking slant.

Our high school curriculum doesn’t include lessons pertaining to 9/11 in a factual manner, and although we continuously study history, we are never formally taught about present day current events that are both monumental and directly affecting our lives.

How often are students taught about the causes and effects of the Civil War? Probably in more US History classes than can be counted. Shouldn’t the causes and effects of modern wars such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan that we are currently engaged in be equally emphasized? Many students don’t even know that there’s a difference between the two.

Likewise, U.S. history classes often only teach up until the 1960s, assuming that students understand recent history when it seems to be the opposite; it is the last twenty years, along with events that we have been alive to see, that we know the least about.

Because current events and awareness aren’t specifically emphasized, we never learn the pure facts of global issues in our curriculum. Many students don’t have a basis of knowledge behind their opinionated statements pertaining to the topics. And it’s no secret that the minds of our generation are brimming with opinions wanting to be heard.

This same issue could be applied to politics. Many are quick to proclaim themselves a “republican,” “democrat,” “libertarian,” or what have you, without understanding what these titles even mean. Students so easily challenge a viewpoint of one another without examining or considering their reasoning. Uninformed opinions on politics, war, religion, or other loaded topics are what lead to a culture of misunderstanding and intolerance.

The events of September 11 perfectly exemplify the issue of intolerance, as it was both a leading cause and a direct effect of the attacks. In order to prevent terroristic actions from recurring, the youth of our country—the leaders of tomorrow—must be educated and unprejudiced about global issues.

We, as the Knight Errant staff, believe that BSM and all other high schools around the country should take it upon themselves to mandate the knowledge of current events in their student body. But, until these topics are included in school curriculum, it is each student’s personal responsibility to stay informed in order to be a socially accountable citizen of the United States.