The Teachings of the Vietnam War in Classrooms


Kareli Gutierrez (12th), Reporter

The Vietnam War: a controversial topic that divided the nation in two during the time it was fought. This war is still taught in modern classrooms; however, whether students get a good exposure to this topic is yet to be found out.


A little background before we start. The Vietnam War was fought between the North and South Vietnam, with the United States ultimately joining in and helping the South because they didn’t want the North spreading communism. Many people in the U.S. were against the Vietnam War because they saw the horrific war on screen while many thought that the U.S. should stay in the war and that there was nothing wrong with it. 


Today, there are still debates based on the morality of the war and over who actually won. People tend to say that the U.S. won, but others may say that the U.S. ultimately lost. Either way, that’s a debate for another time.


Now that we’re done with the background we move onto the real reason for the article. The teachings of the Vietnam War in classrooms. History that’s taught in classrooms is vital to help students learn about the past. Learning about the past includes the Vietnam War, but there is a question as to whether the Vietnam War gets enough attention in the class?


Is it left behind while all other history overshadows it? Do the students not learn enough about it?


Or is it the opposite? Is it actually getting the amount of recognition it deserves? Are students getting an appropriate amount of time to study this war?


I asked two seniors at Pitman High School, Simon Striplin and Mandi Jeffery, on whether they thought that the Vietnam War got enough attention in class and their exposure to the subject.


Simon Striplin: Yes we focused on the Vietnam War for a while. I don’t think it should be taught more nor less; it’s perfect just the way it is. I think I had a good exposure to the Vietnam War. I’d say we focused on it for about a month.


Mandi Jeffery: No not really, the last time I got taught about the Vietnam War was sophomore year, but that was it. Tbh [To be honest] I kinda forgot about it over the years. Like I said we talked about it in sophomore year with Mr. Montgomery, but that’s it.


Two completely different statements and so I decided to ask one more person, but this time a teacher. Mr Montgomery, a World History teacher at Pitman High school, was questioned on the teaching of this topic in school.


Mr. Montgomery: I only teach World History now and I spend very little time on the Vietnam War. It is a small part of the Cold War lessons. At the sophomore level I feel that we do teach the appropriate amount.When I taught American History, I spent several days teaching lessons on the Vietnam War. Personally I do not think our students get enough time to study the war,…


Whether or not the Vietnam War is talked about in the right amount or not, it’s still an important part of history and should be discussed even if it’s just for a while. Like for every piece of history, we don’t talk about the past just to talk, but we talk about it to learn and make better choices.