Homework controversy: Islam Homework Assignment Virginia
Published: December 19, 2015
Homework controversy: Islam Homework Assignment Virginia, The Augusta County, Virginia, public school district was closed Dec. 18 after outraged parents voiced concerns over a homework assignment asking students to write Islamic religious statements praising the Muslim god Allah.
Officials decided to close schools (affecting 10,000 students) after being barraged with angry phone calls and emails from furious parents who were worried their children were being indoctrinated into the Islam faith.
The uproar started after high school social studies teacher, Cheryl LaPorte, gave a homework assignment asking students to write an Islam shahada (statement of faith) in calligraphy that translates to:
“There is no god but Allah. Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.”
Female students were also invited to try a hijab, or head scarf, the Washington Post reported. La Porte claimed she wanted to illustrate the complexity of Arabic calligraphy, and said students had no idea what they were writing (FYI: Chinese calligraphy is equally, if not more, complex).
Public recitation of the shahada is the first step in conversion to Islam. In this instance, students were not asked to recite the Muslim statement of faith.
Parents who learned of this insane homework accused LaPorte of trying to indoctrinate students into the Islamic faith. LaPorte denied those claims.
Debbie Ballew, a former English teacher, is disgusted by the double standard concerning religion in public schools. Ballew told USA Today if she had asked her students to copy passages from the Christian bible, she would have been fired outright.
In some public schools across the United States, students and teachers are banned from saying the “Pledge of Allegiance” and “Merry Christmas” because of their references to the Christian god and to Jesus Christ.
“These children were deceived when they were told it was calligraphy,” said Kimberly Herndon, a mom of six (pictured). “This is not calligraphy, this is a language.”
Laurel Truxell, a ninth-grade student in Cheryl LaPorte’s class, was confused by the assignment.
“I felt uncomfortable learning about it in a world geography class,” said Truxell. “You shouldn’t teach religion in school unless you’re in a religious class.”
School districts across the U.S. are in a heightened state of alert after the Dec. 2 terrorist attacks in San Bernardino, California, that killed 120 people.
On Dec. 15, all Los Angeles public schools – affecting some 700,000 students – were shut down after officials received email threats that later turned out to be a hoax. Similar threats were also sent to New York City public schools.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama has pledged to import up to 200,000 Muslim Syrian refugees into the U.S. over the next two years even though FBI Director James Comey said there’s no way to properly vet for radical Islamic terrorist ties.
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