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Florida students say 9/11 education should avoid placing blame and ‘American exceptionalism’

Students from the University of Florida say education about the 9/11 attacks ‘should avoid placing blame’ and called for a stop to perpetuating ideas of ‘American exceptionalism’ in the latest example of woke ideas run amok on college campuses. 

Ahead of the 20th anniversary, student reporter Ophelie Jacobson surveyed students at the Gainesville campus to ask their opinions about education surrounding the terrorist attacks on September 1, 2001. 

She noted that students today were too young- or not alive -during the 9/11 attacks to have their own memories of the tragic events. Most students said that they did not remember learning about the 9/11 attacks extensively during their schooling.  

However, most did agree that educators ‘should avoid placing blame’ to avoid bolstering Islamophobia and should be careful to explain that the terrorists were extremists. 

They also suggested that the curriculum on the 9/11 attacks should not perpetuate ideas of ‘American exceptionalism.’

Campus Reformer student reporter Ophelie Jacobson (pictured right) asked students from the University of Florida to share their opinions on how the 9/11 attacks should be taught

Many of the students surveyed agreed that 9/11 lessons 'should avoid placing blame' and 'American exceptionalism.' One student (pictured center), claimed American exceptionalism 'rooted in a lot of colonialist and imperialist notions of how we should treat other people'

Many of the students surveyed agreed that 9/11 lessons ‘should avoid placing blame’ and ‘American exceptionalism.’ One student (pictured center), claimed American exceptionalism ‘rooted in a lot of colonialist and imperialist notions of how we should treat other people’

American exceptionalism is the ideology that the United States is inherently different and better than other nations. One female student told Jacobson that the U.S. should ‘stop propagating this idea that our nation is best no matter what.’ 

According to one student, American exceptionalism is ‘rooted in a lot of colonialist and imperialist notions of how we should treat other people.’ 

Another student claimed that American exceptionalism continues as the country often skips over the ‘bad parts’ of history to make our country appear better. 

Jacobson reports for the Campus Reformer, a conservative college news organization whose stated mission is to expose ‘liberal bias and abuse on the nation’s college campuses.’

The Campus Reformer is bankrolled by the Leadership Institute, a nonprofit that has trained conservative activists for nearly 40 years. 

Her article was published less than two weeks after the Virginia Department of Education was slammed for promoting a teacher training video which instructs teachers to avoid calling the 9/11 killers ‘terrorists’, and to avoid promoting ‘American exceptionalism’ during lessons about the attacks. 

The nearly two-hour long video, which has since been removed, was posted on the VDOE’s YouTube channel to promote a ‘culturally responsive and inclusive 9/11 commemoration’ to guide teachers how to broach the sensitive subject ‘in a way that does not cause harm.’

Students enrolled in school today were very young or not alive on September 11, 2001

Students enrolled in school today were very young or not alive on September 11, 2001

The 9/11 attacks killed 2,977 people in what has remained the deadliest foreign attack on U.S. soil

The 9/11 attacks killed 2,977 people in what has remained the deadliest foreign attack on U.S. soil

'American exceptionalism' has become a hot button subject ahead of the 20th anniversary of the attacks on September 1, 2001

‘American exceptionalism’ has become a hot button subject ahead of the 20th anniversary of the attacks on September 1, 2001 

But the advice was blasted by some parents as ‘woke-washing the 9/11 attacks’, and ‘hijacking history’.

The instructional video shared as part of VDOE’s VA Equity webinar series was lead by American University School of Education professorial lecturer Amaarah DeCuir.

DeCuir shared her ‘Webinar In’s & Out’s’ listing ways she deems appropriate or inappropriate to teach about the events surrounding the 9/11 attacks.

She claimed that asking students to ‘stand and condemn 9/11’ in a performative way would be ‘highly inappropriate.’

She also suggested that teachers use the word ‘extremists’ instead of ‘terrorists’ to further ‘disrupt this false equivalency of Muslims and terrorism.’

‘I choose to use the word extremists and I use this based on the scholarship of other scholars and activists in the community that will also use this word to describe the perpetrators of the crimes associated with 9/11,’ she said.

She warned of the consequences of teaching American exceptionalism instead turning the focus to ‘our shared humanity.’

‘We’re also not going to reproduce what’s understood as American exceptionalism — this understanding that America is a land at the top of a beautiful mountain and that all other countries, nations, and people are less than America,’ she said.

The training video posted by the Virginia Department of Education (DOE) was lead by American University School of Education professorial lecturer Amaarah DeCuir (pictured). The video has since been removed

The training video posted by the Virginia Department of Education (DOE) was lead by American University School of Education professorial lecturer Amaarah DeCuir (pictured). The video has since been removed

The nearly two-hour long video comes ahead of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and instructs teachers to avoid promoting American exceptionalism during their lessons

The nearly two-hour long video comes ahead of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and instructs teachers to avoid promoting American exceptionalism during their lessons

‘We’re not going to reproduce notions that American history and American experiences are more significant than the experiences or histories of other people,’ she continued.

‘So we’re going to begin with a common understanding of our shared humanity, regardless of our national, racial, linguistic or religious origins.’

DeCuir reminded teachers of the importance ‘to plan our 9/11 lessons in a way that does not seek to reproduce anti-Muslim racism.’

‘We’re not going to reproduce a false assumption of Muslim responsibility for 9/11. We’re just going to begin right there and name that there is no responsibility and therefore we’re not going to use this space to try and untangle this.’

‘Do not use this day to amplify the extremists themselves and don’t use the day to amplify their acts on 9/11. You name what happened and that’s it,’ she added.

DeCuir encouraged teachers to ‘extend expectations of ‘equity” to all students, humanize Muslim students, acknowledge anti-Muslim racism, and pushes them to continue to learn.

The video training advised teachers to avoid the ‘false assumption of Muslim responsibility for 9/11,’ anti-Muslim rhetoric, analyses of US foreign policies, and American exceptionalism.

The VDOE did not respond to DailyMail.com for a comment.

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