Virginia school district cancels classes Friday as anger mounts over Islamic …

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Furor over Arabic assignment leads Virginia school district to close Friday.

VERONA, Va. A Virginia county decided to shut down schools Friday amid security concerns after parental objections to a world geography lesson that including a teaching on Islam.The Augusta County School Board in Virginia ordered all public schools closed following a slew of complaints from parents outraged over a high school geography assignment that had their children practicing Arabic calligraphy.The entire Augusta County, Virginia, school district will be closed Friday, a week after one teacher touched off controversy by issuing an assignment to students, during a block study of world religions, asking them to copy an example of Arabic calligraphy—the Islamic statement of faith, or shahada. — Schools in a Shenandoah Valley county in Virginia were closed Friday and a weekend holiday concert and athletic events were canceled amid an angry backlash about a school lesson involving the Islamic faith.

Parents protested against the assignment at Riverheads High School in Augusta County and said that the children were not given the translation of what they were writing. In the course of learning about different regions around the world, the Staunton News Leader reports, students also study the regions’ culture, which includes its predominant religions.

Superintendent Eric Bond did not respond to questions about why he canceled school given the lack of a specific threat, or about whether he considered the original assignment improper. The statement translates as: “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.” Students were also reportedly shown copies of the Koran. However, one outraged parent told The Schilling Show, “while the Quran was presented to students, the Bible was not.” The teacher reportedly declined to provide a Bible because all the students have either read or seen a Bible. According to News Leader, the local newspaper, recitation of the shahada is a “fundamental step in conversion to Islam.” Students were not asked to translate the statement or to recite it, and the exercise was within the Virginia Standards of Learning for the study of monotheistic world religions. Some students refused to complete the assignment, and some parents became outraged to the point that they wanted to pull their children out of the world geography class, the newspaper said.

During a forum Tuesday night at the Good News Ministries church in Greenville, parents discussed the lesson and some expressed outrage over what they called indoctrination. “That’s why we need to join together,” Herndon told the News Leader. “If my truth can not be spoken in schools, I don’t want false doctrine spoken in schools. The News Virginian said Fishersville resident Tim Cooper called the newspaper’s office to ask why the Wilson Memorial High School holiday concert was concert. It was organized by Kimberly Herndon, a parent who has kept her nine-year-old son at home since ill-fated geography class. “I will not have my child sit under a woman who indoctrinates them with the Islam religion when I am a Christian, and I’m going to stand behind Christ,” Herndon told WTVR.

On the sheriff’s recommendation, the school system decided to cancel Friday’s classes after coming under a deluge of calls and emails from outside the immediate community. Augusta County resident and former English teacher Debbie Ballew told News Leader that there is a double standard amongst public schools and the public.

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