September: Curlee wants to opt out of social studies tests because of Islam.
October: Burgos wants to review state tests because of Islam.
November: Mezera wants no state social studies tests at all – but this has nothing to do with Islam.
November 18: Curlee publishes a petition asking the TN Commissioner of Education to eliminate state social studies tests “for 6th & 7th Graders for the 2015-16 school year” because they “may infringe on religious beliefs.” She states, “If you look at the petition, no specific religion is mentioned. This is about protecting religious liberties of children and families, a right guaranteed in the constitution.”
Here’s what Curlee said about Burgos’ resolution at the October 15 work session:
“…right now we have state standards and we also have a state test and a lot of the things that are put on that state test are not necessarily positioned in a historical context. When children are asked to identify a prayer position — proper prayer position — or write a paragraph about the Koran and the Sunnah and the daily impact on the lives of Muslims that is in present tense that is not historical. Um… some of the exercises that we have seen in the other counties with the five pillars have also been replicated here in Williamson County. Now if we sent home some type of assignment or asked kids to do some flip paper chart thing on the Ten Commandments or write a paragraph about the Ten Commandments and how they impact the daily life of Christians, we would definitely hear about it. And what I do like about this resolution is that it starts to address some of these things that right now are taking away local control. So when you have state issued standards when you have these canned next generation standards that states have and when you have these tests that everybody’s required to take…and teachers of course given that they’re high stakes testing they’re going to be teaching to those tests. They’re going to teach what’s on that test. And when there’s a number of questions about Islam that have nothing to do with historical context but everything to do with present context they’re going to have to teach it right? I think the state with what we have done so far they have put our teachers in some very precarious spots. I do like that this resolution at least brings up that one religion not be positioned and almost treated with kid gloves and a certain image painted of it simply out of political correctness and fear. I don’t think that’s doing…and those conquests that people are talking about? You know they talk about oh yes Christians and Jews were allowed to practice their religions. They weren’t. It was convert or die. Or pay a tax. So there’s a lot of things too that some of the information that has been conveyed to students is not exactly correct presented in a present day context or historical. And I do think this is a good start so thank you for taking the initiative on this, Beth.”
Let’s be clear
The “our kids are being indoctrinated into Islam” campaign is NOT being driven by concerns of public school parents.
- There is zero evidence that WCS seventh graders are being indoctrinated – i.e. pushed to believe and adhere – to Islam. ZERO. We have not heard of a single parent with a WCS seventh grade student who has said there was any religious indoctrination. Given that the basic standards have been in place since 2000, tens of thousands of WCS kids have been taught under the current curriculum standards.
- This whole issue of alleged Muslim indoctrination is being driven by political activists. It appears that this is about politics, NOT kids. Organizations are even fundraising off it! We think our school board should keep its focus on actual issues in our schools.
- To think that WCS’s (mostly Christian) teachers are knowingly or unknowingly indoctrinating their (primarily Christian) students into Islam strikes us as both laughable and offensive.
- The board received 110 emails about Burgos’ resolution in October. 102 were opposed. Only 3 WCS parents were in favor of the resolution.