Has This Happened To You?




We’re hearing this from many parents. Has this happened to you?

At the start of the school year (2015/16) I was looking over my kids school books  (as I do every year) and I noticed in my daughters global history book ( World History; Patterns of Interaction, 9th grade, New York edition, published by McDougal Littel 2005) that there were several more pages of study on the religion of Islam over all other major religions, therefore a greater focus. I called the district and asked for a meeting. The meeting (on 10/1) was attended by the assistant superintendent of curriculum, high school principal, history department chair, my father and me. They assured us that the book was a secondary source and that there were other primary sources that would be utilized in class. We asked for books prior to classroom instruction and were told it would not be a problem. I waited about a month and called the deptartment chair and was told they hadn’t begun the religious sections yet and he will get the material to me. After waiting several more weeks I called again and was told to go to the teachers webpage and to email the teacher. I told him I was busy and would not be able to reach out to the teacher right away. A week or so later my daughter came home and said they were learning about the religion of Islam and the class was told all three major religions worship the same God. I had a few more phone conversations, and let them know my discontent. We (my father and I)had a phone conference with the teacher and department chair where they stated moving forward they would reach out to me if there were any more religious material being taught.


On 1/19 I received an email stating my daughter’s class would be having a three day guest speaker from the Islamic cultural center come to speak about women in Islam and if I would like to have my child opt out they will make arrangements. I wrote back saying I would like to observe the class instead and have her attend as well and was denied.


Although the reasons given were their concern I would disrupt the class or speaker and that arrangements needed to be made.  The principal agreed that I have never behaved in a rude or disrespectful manner. Also, I was only given 22 hours notice and replied within ten minutes that I would like to observe.


I talked with my daughter right after the class ( I stayed even though they didn’t let me in the class) and my daughter said at the start the speaker stated we all worship the same God. They also shared a verse, Quran 5:32 and it was quoted out of context. At the end when my daughter went to thank them, the speaker told her about a You Tube video where they took the Koran and put a Bible cover on it and that people could not tell the difference. To me, that is proselytizing.


So, I do disagree with what was presented. I am never against furthering knowledge but it needs to be truthful. If religion is taught in school all religions need to be equally represented or none at all. As a parent, if I personally disagree with the religious teachings in public school I should be able to discuss it at home with my children but when I don’t know what is taught, I can’t do that.


As parents and taxpayers, the board of education encourages us to come to the schools and observe our students classes. I believe the constitutional right to direct the education of my child was infringed upon. If you feel this way as well and live in _________, NY please come to the next board of education meeting.


(Name Withheld)

We would like to know if this is happening to you. We are gathering information. Please feel free to share by sending an email to us at info@nyunited4kids.com.

Team NYU4K