The Telegraph reports that some teachers are too scared to discuss 9/11 with their pupils as they fear a backlash from Muslim parents, a leading expert in counter-extremism education has warned.
Kamal Hanif OBE, who was appointed by the Government to turn around three schools at the heart of the “Trojan Horse” scandal, said that some teachers have a “misplaced” concern that they will cause offence if they raise 9/11 in the classroom.
He said that some teachers – particularly those who work in schools with a high proportion of Muslim students – see it as a contentious topic and shy away from teaching it.
Mr Hanif, who is executive principal of Waverley Education Foundation and has advised the Department for Education (DfE) on combating counter-extremism in schools, said that such views are misguided.
“There is a fear [among teachers] but it is not really grounded in anything,” he said. “It is based on their stereotypical view of a community as opposed to the reality. It is very misplaced. It is an assumption.”
Mr Hanif is a trustee for the educational charity Since 9/11, which provides free teaching resources about the attacks and their aftermath. The resources, which are endorsed by the Department for Education and the Home Office, are aimed at secondary school children, but the charity is now developing a new set of materials for primary schools.
Lord Nash, the schools minister, said that teaching about 9/11 and its aftermath at school is crucial for efforts to prevent children being groomed by extremists. “Our job is to ensure that our children are educated in school so that they are less likely to be radicalised outside of school,”
Does your school teach lessons on 9/11? Would resources from Since 9/11 increase teacher confidence? Have you used them? Are primary aged children too young to have these lessons? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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