A Utah parent has contacted us about the “teaching plan” his fourth-grade son brought home from school this past week.
Wednesday, January 4, was the first day his children returned to school, after their Christmas break. That evening, his son handed him the weekly lesson plan, and the father was concerned to see that his child had been introduced to Islam that very afternoon, with no advance notice.
The history lesson for Wednesday was titled, “Spread of Islam: Introduction to Islam.”
Adding to his concern, the father noticed that more Islamic instruction would be given the next day, in a lesson titled, “Story of Muhammad.”
The father, who does not wish his name to be used, sent an email to his son’s teacher asking, “Can you please provide me with the lesson plan/material that was presented yesterday on Islam and what is on the schedule for Mohammad. Also, other religions that will be taught also. I would great appreciate that.”
The teacher responded:
“Yesterday we watched the DVD “Understanding World Religions: What is Islam?” It is a children’s dvd produced by Schlessinger Media. It can be found at the Davis County Library. I didn’t check my e-mail until now but I can send home our history book that we will be reading from. Islam is the only religion that we will study during 4th grade. It is part of the Core Knowledge (not Common Core) program that we use at Jefferson Academy. It is taught to help understand peoples differences. First graders at our school learn about Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Second graders learn about Hinduism and Buddhism. Third graders learn about Greek Gods. Fifth graders learn about Buddhism, and Shintoism. Sixth graders learn about Roman Gods, Christianity and Judaism.”
The DVD the school has shown these fourth-graders is described online as follows:
“In What is Islam?, students take an in-depth look at the religion practiced by over one billion Muslims in countries worldwide. Students investigate the history of this religion by learning about Muhammad, the prophet whom Muslims believe received God’s message and shared it with others. By visiting a mosque, or masjid, and learning about the five pillars and the daily Muslim prayer ritual of salah, students learn about the core beliefs of Islam. Students also gain understanding of Muslim traditions and beliefs by visiting a family as they celebrate the holiday of Eid al-Fitr.”
No advanced notice was given to parents, and no parental permission was requested.
The father also sent photos of the book his son brought home. The book’s chapter about Islam features a story about children attending an Islamic school, and being taught the meaning of the “five pillars.”
It concludes with the teacher telling the students, “You all have answered well today,” and saying, “He was very proud of his students and felt that they would become fine faithful Muslims.”
Below is the school lesson plan this father’s child brought home.
Sign up to get breaking news alerts from Dennis Michael Lynch.