Threatened failing grade for not reciting conversion declaration
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to take the case of a public school teacher who required her students to recite the Islamic “conversion prayer” or receive a failing grade.
The Thomas More Law Center is defending Caleigh Wood, a Christian student in 11th grade at La Plata High School in La Plata, Maryland.
Wood refused to deny her faith “by making a written profession of the Muslim conversion prayer known as the shahada – ‘There is no god by allah and Muhammad is the messenger of allah,'” Thomas More said.
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the teacher did not violate the Establishment Clause.
Wood also had been forced to view a series of Islam-promoting PowerPoint slides, including one casting aspersions on Christians that said, “Most Muslims’ faith is stronger than the average Christian.”
The teacher’s actions were condemned in court by the high school’s content specialist, Jack Tuttle.
Richard Thompson, Thomas More’s chief counsel, said he’s “not aware of any public school which has forced a Muslim student to write the Lord’s Prayer or John 3:16: ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.'”
“Yet, under the pretext of teaching history or social studies, public schools across America are promoting the religion of Islam in ways that would never be tolerated for Christianity or any other religion,” he said. “It’s disappointing that the Supreme Court did not take this opportunity to clarify the test which lower courts should use when ruling on establishment clause and free speech challenges to public school classes on religion.”
Thomas More contends the school violated the First Amendment’s Establishment and Free Speech clauses when it ordered Wood to do an assignment that she could not complete without violating her Christian beliefs.
The teacher then gave her a failing grade.
The center explained Wood “believes it is a sin to profess the existence of any other god but the Christian God. She stood firm in her Christian beliefs and was punished for it. School officials refused her father’s request that she be allowed to opt-out or be given an alternative assignment. She refused to complete her anti-Christian assignment and consequently received a failing grade.”
The school’s Islamic indoctrination also included: “Islam at heart is a peaceful religion,” “Jihad is a ‘personal struggle in devotion to Islam, especially involving spiritual discipline,'” “To Muslims, Allah is the same God that is worshiped in Christianity and Judaism,” and “Men are the managers of the affairs of women.”
“Many public schools have become hot beds of Islamic propaganda. Teaching Islam in schools has gone far beyond a basic history lesson. Prompted by zealous Islamic activism and emboldened by confusing court decisions, schools are now bending over backwards to promote Islam while at the same time denigrating Christianity,” Thompson said. “Although the Supreme Court passed up an opportunity to provide clearer constitutional guidance on this important issue, there will be other chances as this issue isn’t going away anytime soon.”
‘The true faith, Islam’
The dispute over Islamic indoctrination in public schools isn’t new.
In May 2017, in Groesbeck, Texas, a couple moved their sixth-grade daughter to a new school after they discovered her history homework assignment on Islam.
In late March 2017, as WND reported, a middle school in Chatham, New Jersey, was using a cartoon video to teach the Five Pillars of Islam to seventh-grade students, prompting two parents to obtain legal services to fight the school district, which has ignored their concerns.
WND also reported in March 2017 a high school in Frisco, Texas, set up an Islamic prayer room specifically for Muslim students to pray on campus during school hours. The same type of prayer rooms have been set up in high schools in St. Cloud, Minnesota, and other school districts.