A public high school teacher in Lee County, Fla. has asserted that administrators instructed him not to teach students about the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks because preparation for and student performance on a battery of standardized tests was deemed more important.
“Alright, let’s get to the phones,” said Drew Steele on his morning show, aptly titled “Daybreak with Drew Steele.”
Next, an unidentified teacher spoke.
“We were not permitted to teach anything about 9-11 because those particular things do not relate to the end of the year testing,” the teacher claimed.
Steele was shocked.
“I cannot believe this! The principal specifically told you not to talk about this? How are the kids going to learn about 9-11 thanks to the core…”
“The core” is a reference to the Common Core State Standards Initiative, a set of K-12 math and language arts curriculum benchmarks and high-stakes standardized tests now implemented in most states, which is deeply unpopular for many reasons.
A student, ninth-grader Danny Esposito, confirmed the teacher’s allegations.
“Around 9-11, they don’t talk about it that much or bring it up at all,” Esposito told WINK-TV. “They should give more facts about it.”
Lee County school district board member Don Armstrong, who had been listening to Steele’s radio live, said she was shocked.
“I was outraged,” Armstrong told the CBS station. “That is a travesty.”
Armstrong has since indicated that he intends to convince fellow board members to change school district policy so that Sept. 11 can be a brief topic of discussion in classrooms if teachers wants to address it.
“It’s simple,” Armstrong told the station. “We would instruct all teachers to have age appropriate instruction time of 9-11” — on the annual anniversary of the terrorist attacks.
“I believe it’s something we should never forget,” the board member added. “They need to know how it began and why it began.”
Lee County, Fla. is a pretty reliable producer of bizarre education-related stories — especially in the fall.
About this time last year, a teacher at Cape Coral High School returned from summer vacation to find a human fetus floating in a mason jar inside a rolling cabinet in his classroom. (RELATED: Mystery Of Human Fetus In Jar At Florida High School Solved But Questions Remain)
Also about this time last year, a teacher at Gateway Charter High School in Fort Myers was charged with animal cruelty after he left a puppy in the trunk of a Mercedes for over four hours. (RELATED: Students Bust Sick Teacher Who Locked Puppy In The Trunk Of His Car FOR FOUR HOURS)