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Verify: How are Arkansas schools teaching the history of 9/11?

The 5NEWS VERIFY team looks into a viewer's claim that lessons on 9/11 are not taught in American history classes across the state.

ARKANSAS, USA — This week marks 22 years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and in this week's Verify, we're responding to a claim that a viewer made alleging that the 9/11 terrorist attacks are not taught in schools.

So let's Verify.

The Question:

Do Arkansas schools teach about the history of 9/11?


  • Springdale Public Schools (SPS)
  • Fort Smith Public Schools (FSPS)
  • Fayetteville Public Schools (FPS)
  • Arkansas Department of Education (ADE)

The Answer:

Yes, Arkansas Schools across 5COUNTRY do teach about 9/11, and its impact on America.

What We Found:

On the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the Springdale School District shared photos on their Facebook page, showing students learning about this horrific day in history.

The district says they taught students about 9/11 in lessons geared toward the different age groups, covering elementary school, junior high, and high school, with some classrooms taking on projects related to these lessons.

One of the middle schools within the Springdale school district even held its fifth annual breakfast thanking first responders on the anniversary of the attacks, as a way to create an uplifting tradition from the somber anniversary. 

The Fort Smith school district says it teaches lessons on 9/11 as well— middle school students had shorter lessons on it, while the high school students talked about the impacts of 9/11 in their American history courses. 

The Fayetteville school district also said it teaches lessons on 9/11 across its curriculum.

According to the guidebook that the Arkansas Department of Education sends out to school districts for their academic standards in social studies for grades 9-12, schools are expected to "construct explanations of change and continuity in foreign policy since 2001 after the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C." 

The guidebook lists these three points as part of the criteria: 

  • Response of the Bush administration
  • Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq
  • Domestic and international international efforts to combat terrorism (e.g., The Patriot Act, Hamdi vs. Rumsfeld) 

So yes, we can verify that Arkansas schools do teach age-appropriate lessons on 9/11.

If you'd like to see something verified, just text the word "Verify" to 479-785-5000.

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