After a Maryland high school teacher gave a student fails on a series of indoctrinating assignments for not making a profession of faith in Islam, school officials allegedly had her father threatened for voicing his disapproval, according to a federal lawsuit against the district.
The student’s father, John Kevin Wood, and his wife Melissa, are suing the Charles County Public Schools, its board of education, La Plata High School Principal Evelyn Arnold, and her vice principal, Shannon Morris, WND reports. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the Marine Corps veteran and his wife by the Thomas More Law Center in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.
According to the lawsuit, both Christian parents would not stand by as their daughter was being indoctrinated at La Plata High School in La Plata, Maryland, where a religious faith was being allegedly promoted that attacks their own religious beliefs.
“[John and Melissa Wood] refuse[d] to allow their teenage daughter to be subjected to Islamic indoctrination and propaganda in her high school world history class,” the prosecuting attorneys state in their suit. “[The school’s] curriculum, practices, policies, actions, procedures, and customs promote the Islamic faith by requiring students to profess the five pillars if Islam. [Students were required to] write out and confess the shahada, the Islamic profession of faith.”
WND was told by a district spokeswoman that the principal and vice principal refused to respond to the allegations, even though they are fully aware of the complaint brought against them.
“The lawsuit charges that school officials concealed the curriculum by using two separate history textbooks, one of which contained the Islamic teachings and which students were required to leave at school,” WND’s Bob Unruh reports. “The other, which did not contain the teachings, was allowed to be taken home, the complaint explains. The school also excised the Islamic teachings from the course syllabus.”
Taking away rights?
The plaintiffs assert that both Arnold and Morris acted in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution — and against federal and state law — by forcing students to accept Islamic beliefs.
“Defendants have treated plaintiffs’ Christian beliefs and heritage with deliberate indifference, and have been hostile toward C.W. [the student] and her family,” the plaintiffs’ attorneys argue in their complaint, noting the shahada’s words, “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.” The complaint continues … “[Defendants are] depriving plaintiffs and C.W. of their fundamental right to be free from a public school’s promotion of certain religious beliefs, their fundamental right to be able to speak freely and raise concerns about religion being taught in our public schools without retaliation, and their fundamental right to be free from unjust discrimination against their Christian heritage.”
According to the suit, the high school lessons were more than indoctrination; they constituted attempted religious conversion.
“For non-Muslims, reciting the statement is sufficient to convert one to Islam,” prosecuting attorneys attest in the lawsuit. “Moreover, the second part of the statement, ‘Muhammad is the messenger of Allah,’ signifies the person has accepted Muhammad as their spiritual leader. The teenager was also required to memorize and recite the Five Pillars of Islam.”
The district gave the student grades of zero on her Islamic assignments — of which it refused to let her opt out. The lawsuit also mentions the high school’s teaching that many Christians regard as an assault to their faith.
“Most Muslims’ faith is stronger than the average Christian,” the classroom instruction states. “[The West engages in] imperialistic pursuits,” the school materials read, which also explain that “men are the managers of women.”
Other troubling teachings were revealed in the complaint
“To Muslims, Allah is the same god that is worshipped in Christianity and Judaism,” the district’s curriculum reads, which also implies that Islamic scriptures are authentic, while Judeo-Christian teachings are questionable. “[The Quran] is the word of Allah, [but Jews and Christians] believe the Torah and the Gospels were revealed to Moses and the New Testament writers.”
Setting the record straight
The complaint sets out to set the record straight on the teachings of Islam.
“The sugarcoated version of Islam taught at La Plata High School did not mention that the Quran explicitly instructs Muslims ‘to kill the unbelievers wherever you find them.’ (Sura 9-5),” attorneys point out in the complaint.
When the student’s father wanted the opportunity to inform students about the Christian perspective regarding the school’s teachings, he was met with strong resistance.
“John Kevin Wood discovered the teachings and called to voice his objections, the lawsuit says, but the school imposed a ‘no trespass’ order against him, threatening him with arrest if he came onto school property,” WND’s Unruh informed. “The school refused to give him any opportunity ‘to refute the untrue allegations’ made by Arnold.”
The lawsuit went on to explain the family’s religious objections to the Muslim teachings under dispute.
“The Woods, as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God and our Savior, that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, and that following the teachings of Jesus Christ is the only path to eternal salvation,” attorneys Michael J. Moran of the Law Office of Michael J. Moran, PC, and Thomas More Law Center President Richard Thompson expressed in the suit. “The Woods believe that it is a sin to profess commitment in word or writing to any god other than the Christian God. Thus, they object to their daughter being forced to deny the Christian God and to her high school promoting Islam over other religions.”
Moran and Thompson insist that the school denied the students freedom of religion guaranteed by the Constitution.
“The school ultimately refused to allow the Woods’ daughter to opt-out of the assignments, forcing her to either violate her faith by pledging to Allah or receive zeros for the assignments,” they contest in the complaint. “Together, John Kevin Wood, Melissa Wood, and their daughter chose to remain faithful to God and refused to complete the assignments, even though failing grades would harm her future admission to college and her opportunities to obtain college scholarships.”
Facing jihad head-on
While serving in the U.S. Armed Forces in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Wood personally experienced the terror of Islamic jihad when he “lost friends to Islamic extremists” and when he “responded as a firefighter to the 9/11 Islamic terror attack on the Pentagon,” the lawsuit states.
“Wood witnessed firsthand the destruction created in the name of Allah and knows that Islam is not ‘a religion of peace,’” it continues. “The school prevented John Kevin Wood from defending his daughter’s Christian beliefs against Islamic indoctrination, even though as a Marine, he stood in harm’s way to defend our nation, and the Charles County Public Schools.”
Islamic conversion 101?
Included in a worksheet distributed by the Maryland’s school district are the following teachings about Islam:
“a.) Islam, at heart, is a peaceful religion; b.) Most Muslim’s faith is stronger than the average Christian; c.) Beginning in the 1970s and 1980s, Islam remerged as a potent political force, associated with bothreform and revolution; d.) Radical Islamic Fundamentalists are opposed to Western civilization’s way of life and imperialistic pursuits.”
Thompson said the school’s teachings on Islam are much more than just familiarizing kids with a world religion.
“Defendants forced [the] Woods daughter to disparage her Christian faith by reciting the shahada, and acknowledging Mohammed as her spiritual leader,” asserted the head of the Thomas More Law Center, headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “Her world history class spent one day on Christianity and two weeks immersed in Islam. Such discriminatory treatment of Christianity is an unconstitutional promotion of one religion over another.”
According to the lawsuit, giving preference to Islam was no mistake.
“Defendants deliberately [chose] this curriculum, instructional materials, and texts, and punish Christians students who disagree with espousing religious statements and reproducing religious doctrine that promotes Islam,” the plaintiffs claim. “The actions, policies, procedures, customs and curriculum of defendants unconstitutionally endorse the Islamic religion.”
The lawsuit argues that because school officials forced its indoctrination upon students, the damage has already been done.
“[The family suffered] irreparable harm, including the loss of their fundamental constitutional rights, entitling them to declaratory and injunctive relief,” the complaint concludes. “Defendants, by requiring C.W. to make reference to a belief in the Muslim god, forced C.W. to directly violate her sincerely held religious beliefs. Defendants did not allow C.W. to opt out of these assignments or receive alternative assignments. Defendants refused to accommodate C.W.’s Christian beliefs. Instead, defendants coerced and punished C.W. for refusing to violate her Christian beliefs.”
Copyright American Family News. Reprinted with permission.