School’s Curriculum Adjusted After Parent Protests
MARIETTA – Campbell Middle School has adjusted its curriculum on the Middle East after a parent complained that material provided for one assignment “positively slants towards Islam.” The creator of the materials, though, said she doesn’t understand the objection.
Hal Medlin said the assignment, sent home with his seventh-grader in late August, was aimed at helping students outline the pros and cons of school uniforms. The material includes a letter from a woman who is explaining why she is “proud and happy” to be Muslim and a list of seven conditions for women’s dress in Islam.
Neither Medlin nor district officials would identify the teacher.
“I thought this was absurd,” said Medlin, who describes himself conservative. “(The teacher) was trying to compare Islamic rules of dress and how they compared to school uniforms, which I thought was a stretch. The principal and the (superintendent) agreed with me … but they wouldn’t agree with my premise that it put Islam in a positive light because of the (statements).”
Here are excerpts from some of the material Medlin objected to, titled “My Name is Ahlima” and copyright by InspirEd Educators Inc. It is printed here with permission:
“My name is Ahlima and I live in Saudi Arabia. … Perhaps two differences Westerners would notice are that women here do not drive cars and they wear abuyah. An abuyah is a loose-fitting black cloth that covers a woman from head to toe. I like wearing the abuyah since it is very comfortable, and I am protected from blowing sand. … I have seen pictures of women in the West and find their dress to be horribly immodest. … Women in the West do not have the protection of the Sharia as we do here. If our marriage has problems, my husband can take another wife rather than divorce me, and I would still be cared for. … I feel very fortunate that we have the Sharia.”
Said Medlin: “If you take these three pieces of paper at face value and stick them out there, how can you not say that it’s positively promoting religion, particularly Islam? I want them to agree that it should not go out.”