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Governor Henry Signs Bill Making Murrah Bombing Required Learning

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Gov. Henry signs the bill requiring Oklahoma to teach students about the Oklahoma City Bombing. Gov. Henry signs the bill requiring Oklahoma to teach students about the Oklahoma City Bombing.
U.S. and world history textbooks will also incorporate more information about the bombing. U.S. and world history textbooks will also incorporate more information about the bombing.
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the April 19 bombing. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the April 19 bombing.

By Jennifer Pierce, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- As the 15 year anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing approaches, new law ensures that Oklahoma students will learn about the event for years to come.

Governor Brad Henry signed the bill requiring Oklahoma schools to teach students about the bombing, something high school students know very little about.

Bethany High School history teacher Jared Black was a high school student on April 19, 1995. He remembers the day well.

"I remember after lunch, us turning to television on, watching all afternoon," Black said.

But that chapter of his life has a different meaning to current high school students. Black says most of his students were babies, or not even born, during the bombing. A picture of Timothy McVeigh is just another face to them.

"Some of them said, 'Well, who is that guy?' so they obviously didn't know a lot about it," said Black. "Anybody who lived through it would immediately know."

The Oklahoma history book Black teaches out of only has a couple paragraphs about the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah building.

But, with the stroke of a pen, Gov. Henry signed into law a bill that ensures students will always learn about the Oklahoma City Bombing.

Teachers will be required to include April 19 into history curriculum and cover it in depth. It will take a couple years before textbooks contain the information, so in the mean time, the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum will provide supplemental resources to teachers.

"I think students need to learn whether it's a law or not," said Black. "They need to learn about things that are important that affect them and the people around them."

Gov. Henry released the following statement about the bill:

"Although the events of April 19, 1995 are indelibly etched in the minds of so many Oklahomans, most of today's school children were not even born when that day dramatically changed our history," said Gov. Henry. "It is essential for them and the generations of students that follow to learn the significance of this horrific event just as they learn about other important events in this great state's history.

"History is a powerful educational tool and it can help shape the future for the better if we teach the right lessons today. We owe it to the victims, the survivors and all of the people touched by this tragic event to remember April 19 and understand what it meant and still means to this state and this nation."

More:

15 Years Later: Time To Teach Students The Murrah Bombing?

Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial Promo
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