When a Marine Corps veteran saw the lessons his daughter was receiving in class, he decided to confront the school. According to the dad, educators were pushing Islamic beliefs on his child, and he wanted to put a stop to it. The school retaliated in a big way.
John “Kevin” Wood, who served eight years in the Marine Corps, and his wife Melissa were not happy when they saw the assignments that were being circulated in their daughter’s World History class at La Plata High School in La Plata, Maryland. According to the parents, the controversial lessons being provided by the public school system amounted to Islamic propaganda, and they decided to complain, Washington Free Beacon reported.
The Woods alleged that their daughter Caleigh and her classmates were instructed to write out the “Shahada,” an Islamic creed that says, “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.” Caleigh refused to complete the assignment, believing it is a sin to profess that there is any other god except the Christian God. In addition, the creed is also recited by non-Muslims wishing to convert to Islam, something the Christian girl didn’t want to do.
Students were also required to memorize and recite the Five Pillars of Islam and were subjected to what the Woods felt was disparaging teachings about Christians. “Most Muslims’ faith is stronger than the average Christian,” one lesson stated. In addition, two weeks were devoted to teaching students about Islam, but only one class was spent on Christianity, a faith that’s 600 years older with more history to learn.
Using a Powerpoint presentation in the class, the students at the school were also taught:
- Islam 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.”
- “Men are the managers of the affairs of women” and “Righteous women are therefore obedient.” (Source: CBN News)
Feeling the teacher was prioritizing Islam over other religions, Kevin Wood contacted the school and demanded alternative assignments for his daughter. According to a civil rights lawsuit that would later be filed, the school refused to allow Caleigh to opt-out of the assignments. She was allegedly threatened with failing grades if the work was not completed, but she elected not to do it anyway. However, the issue did not end there.
Mr. Wood said the principal banned him from entering school grounds for more than a year following his complaints, “illegally punishing him for raising objections to classroom lessons about Islam,” the Washington Post reported. After having a no-trespass order issued against him for over a year, Wood went to court for help, asking a judge to remove the ban so he could watch his daughter graduate.
The order, which his lawyers posted online, said Kevin Wood “made verbal threats against the school,” but he denies ever threatening physical harm against anyone. What he did threaten, he said, was to take his concerns public by going to the media and to lawyers. And, he made good on that promise. A lawsuit was filed in federal court by Thomas More Law Center on behalf of the Woods against the Charles County Public Schools, the Board of Education, and the principal and vice-principal of the school.
The complaint alleged that the Islamic lessons violated Caleigh’s civil and constitutional rights. It accused the school of promoting Islam over other religions and discriminating against Caleigh “by removing her from the academic environment of her World History class, relegating her to the student library, and issuing her failing grades on assignments because [she] refused to deny and insult her Christian beliefs.”
“Parents must be ever vigilant to the Islamic indoctrination of their children under the guise of teaching history and multiculturalism. This is happening in public schools across the country. And they must take action to stop it,” TMLC President Richard Thompson warned. “I’m not aware of any 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.'”
The lawsuit sought a declaration from the defendants, admitting that they violated the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights, in addition to a temporary and permanent injunction barring them from promoting Islam over other religions and from banning Kevin Wood from school grounds. Unfortunately for Caleigh and her parents, both the Federal District Court and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the high school’s Islamic curriculum.
TMLC appealed the case to the US Supreme Court, but the appeal was denied. “The U.S. Supreme Court rejected what could have been a contentious high court showdown on the role of religion in public life,” Bloomberg Law reported. According to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the lessons didn’t violate Wood’s First Amendment rights and didn’t “impermissibly endorse any religion and did not compel Wood to profess any belief.” With the rejection of Wood’s appeal, that decision stands — a decision many disagree with. The only question is, do you think they got it right?