The girls in the photo who were wearing the burqa’s were taking part in an in-depth lesson about Islam in their geography class at Lumberton High School. As a part of the lesson, the teacher instructed the students not to use the words “Muslim terrorists.”
Instead, they were instructed to use the words “freedom fighters.” The purpose of the controversial required curriculum was to alter the students’ perception of Islam.
The teacher also told the students that she didn’t necessarily agree with the material. During the lesson, the kids were assigned a writing assignment based on a story in the Washington Post.
The news story blamed the turmoil in Egypt on democracy instead of the Muslim Brotherhood.
State Sen. Dan Patrick, chairman of the senate education committee is launching an investigation into the matter. Patrick spoke with Fox News and revealed how disturbed he was when he saw the photograph.
Patrick stated, “Parents are very sensitive to any issue that seems to be anti-American, or that blames democracy for some sort of trouble in the world.”
One of the parents of learned about the lesson after she saw a picture of her daughter dressed in the burqa on Facebook. She told Fox News, “I am outraged. I felt my blood pressure go through my head.”
“As parents we should have been made aware of this and I felt like the line had been crossed. Christian kids who want to pray have to do it outside of school hours, yet Islam is being taught to our kids during school hours.”
Sen. Patrick said he understood why the parents were upset by the curriculum. “Could you imagine if someone asked a Muslim student to dress up as a priest. The parents of a Muslim student might be rather upset about that.”
The father questioned why the geography teacher was instructing the students on Islam. He stated, “She went from learning about Mexico to learning about Russia to learning about Islam.”
“Islam is not a country. Islam is not a continent.” The parents stated they sat their daughter down and made her explain exactly what the teacher had been teaching.
“They were asked about their perception of Islam. Most of the class said they thought about terrorism. And her response was, ‘we’re going to change the way we perceive Islam.’”
The Lumberton Independent School District released a statement to Fox News in an attempt to defend the class. “The lesson that was offered focused on exposing students to world cultures, religions, customs and belief systems.”
“The lesson is not teaching a specific religion, and the students volunteered to wear the clothing.” The statement went on to say that Judaism and Christianity were a part of the lesson.
The parents on the other hand insist that Christianity was never discussed in the classroom. “The Christian perspective was not taught. They went in-depth into Islam and I’m not comfortable with it.”
The school district’s statement went on to say, “The lesson encompassed diversity education so students receive a firm understanding of our world and why people are motivated differently.”
After speaking with their daughter, the parents immediately called the high school principal. The principal also defended the program and pointed out that it was a required class under CSCOPE.
CSCOPE is a controversial electronic curriculum system. It provides teachers with online lesson plans.
The teenager’s mother told Fox News, “The principal told me it was world geography and they have to learn this stuff.”
In a completely confusing move, the school district contradicted the principal claiming the lesson was not in fact a part of written CSCOPE lessons.
Janice Van Cleave is a very vocal critic of the program and founder of Texas C SCOPE Review. She responded to this situation by claiming that, “This is the normal answer from every school using CSCOPE. They are definitely promoting the Islamic religion.”
“They [teachers] are not telling students how these young women are treated in this religion. In the Islamic countries women are not treated well at all.”
Last month at a state hearing, evidence was presented that revealed that CSCOPE offered several lesson plans on Islam. One of those lesson plans instructed the teachers to “provide classroom readings of selected texts from the Koran.”
In the lesson plan, students were given instruction that Allah is God. Van Cleave went on to explain that her problem with the lesson is that there are no comparable lessons on Christianity or Judaism.
Van Cleave went on to say, “I do think CSCOPE promotes the Islamic religion. I don’t think its right to be proselytizing the Islamic religion in our schools.”
Senator Patrick explained that every time they have asked the leaders of CSCOPE about the Islamic lesson plans they were told that “those were old lessons.”
Patrick went on to say, “In this particular case, there’s a photograph and there’s a letter from the school district and there’s another companion lesson. You start adding these issues up and it puts CSCOPE under the microscope more.”
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