Student punished for refusing to recite Islamic profession of faith

A Maryland high school punished a student for refusing to profess faith in Islam, gave her failing grades for a series of assignments that violated her Christian beliefs then threatened her father with arrest for complaining, a federal lawsuit charges.

The suit was filed in U.S. District Court against the Charles County Public Schools in La Plata, Maryland, its board of education, Principal Evelyn Arnold and Vice Principal Shannon Morris by the Thomas More Law Center.

A spokeswoman for the district told WND that officials were aware of the issue but said Arnold and Morris would not be commenting.

Plaintiffs are Marine Corps veteran John Kevin Wood and his wife, Melissa, who “refuse[d] to allow their teenage daughter to be subjected to Islamic indoctrination and propaganda in her high school world history class.”

The lawsuit charges that the defendants’ “curriculum, practices, policies, actions, procedures, and customs promote the Islamic faith by requiring students to profess the five pillars if Islam.”

The students, the complaint says, were required to “write out and confess the shahada, the Islamic profession of faith.”

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. 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.

“Defendants have treated plaintiffs’ Christian beliefs and heritage with deliberate indifference, and have been hostile toward C.W. [the student] and her family,” the complaint alleges. It explains the Arnold and Morris violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments as well as state and federal law by “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.”

The legal team notes the shahada states, “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.” read more