A mother fired back at her son’s teacher after he received a homework assignment that she found appalling, writing a letter explaining why she wouldn’t let him finish the assignment. Tara Cali of Bakersfield, California also posted a photo of the assignment on Facebook, which instructed students to name the 5 pillars of Islam. The assignment sheet included a barcode to scan to listen to an Islamic prayer.
Tara wrote back to the teacher:
“My son will not be a part of this in any sort of way. This is bad teaching material. He will not partake. If you have a problem, with it call our lawyer.”
According to a report from Metro, Tara argued that the school didn’t teach similar lessons like that on Christianity.
In response to her complaints, however, not everyone in the community agreed with her, with one person responding to her post: “I am a teacher and completely agree that this should be taught as a part of world history curriculum. And that QR code is an awesome, interactive idea. I actually love this assignment.”
Those who weighed in with comments on the SF Globe coverage of the story had plenty to say, with one person noting:
“Do you really think it is possible to teach history, art or literature without teaching about religions? Seriously? No the constitution does not ban the teaching of religions. It bans indoctrination into a religious group. They are not the same thing. Learning about the history and beliefs and practices of different religious groups is not the same as group prayer in a public school.”
Another commenter replied:
“Not true, I can remember being in a class that taught ancient history and the teacher had to completely change her class plans and take out any mention of Christ and Christianity even though it was part of history, these two very basic things could not be mentioned. That being the case then the same should go for teaching any other religious belief.”
Still another noted their own personal experience with this curriculum subject, writing:
“I was a teacher in a regional vocational high school. I taught my students some things about other religions. In life, you come into contact with lots of people from different cultures and religions. In life and in business, it is good to be acquainted with religions and cultures in order to interact. The familiarity is an invitation to interact on a far different level. People should feel assured about their religion, enough to become familiar with the other religions and learn an appreciation for other cultures and peoples.”
Another commenter added: “They taught this to us 20+ years ago when I wan in high school. There is absolutely nothing wrong with learning different cultures and religions. It creates an understanding of the world and helps lessen fear and ignorance. I do feel that there should be no ‘prayer’ in school but learning about the concepts of religion and prayer seems to me is enlightening our children on the different cultures and belief of the world in which we live in.”