Published On: Mon, Sep 7th, 2015

Tennessee middle school teaches Islam, students had to write ‘Allah is the only God’

While skipping over the section on Christianity because “it is not in the state standards” in a world history class at the Spring Hill Middle School in Maury, TN, students did spend three weeks learning the specifics of the Five Pillars of Islam, which has got parents there understandably upset over school policies.

The situation was first noted on the Facebook page of Brandee Porterfield, a parent of the school 7th grader.

Mrs Porterfield writes:

Parents, we all need to know what our children are studying in school. My 7th grader recently brought home her work in Social Studies. Their class has been studying Islam, including its religious doctrines, for 3 weeks. They skipped the whole chapter on Christianity because “it is not in the state standards.”

This is World History, and the ~700 years discussed in that chapter are apparently not important enough to learn about. The students also are instructed to learn the “Five Pillars of Islam” which include them learning and writing the shahada, which is the Muslim creed or profession of faith. This will be on the test as well as TCAPs. No other religion receives any such instruction.

Please reach out to your schools administration, the directors, the BOE, and the state if you have a problem with our kids being exclusively taught about Islam. My children will not be making a profession of Islamic faith, no matter what the consequences.

Image/Brandee Porterfield Facebook page

Image/Brandee Porterfield Facebook page

Photos of the Five Pillars of Islam and writing the Shahada profession of the Islamic faith: “Allah is the only god” were included.

Porterfield says after asking the teacher about the assignments, the teacher said it wasn’t up to her, she was only teaching the standards.

The principal confirmed the standards, said Christianity would be brought in for the study of the Middle Ages, and promised the kids would not be required to write the shahada again, and described this as a “communication problem.”

Joy Ellis is another parent of a child at the Middle School and she said emphatically, “To me, a Christian child should not be made to write that.

“I honestly don’t want my child learning about Islam at all, but if they’ve got to learn about it, I would like for them to learn about the historical aspects of it and definitely nothing about the religion. I don’t want her writing ‘Allah is the only god,’” Ellis added.

Maury County Director of Schools Chris Marczak said in a statement Thursday:

By now, many of you have heard what is taking place with concerns to the teaching section of middle school social studies. The standards that we have in place from the State of Tennessee are newer standards that were developed in 2013 and implemented last year, 2014-15 school year. In middle school, the standards have us address early American History, world history early civilizations to the Roman Empire, middle ages through exploration of the Americas, and colonization to reconstruction of the Americas. Our teachers work together to make sure that our students are learning what is expected through the Tennessee academic standards. For this last section on the Islamic World this past week, our educators had students complete an assignment that had an emphasis on Islamic Faith. The assignment covered some sensitive topics that are of importance to Islamic religion and caused some confusion around whether we are asking students to believe in or simply understand the religion. It is our job as a public school system to educate our students on world history in order to be ready to compete in a global society, not to endorse one religion over another or indoctrinate.

Image/Brandee Porterfield Facebook page

Image/Brandee Porterfield Facebook page

I encourage all Maury County parents to be their child’s first and main teacher. It is our job as parents of our own children to instill in them the beliefs of our individual households. It’s important that we establish a good working relationship with our children’s teachers and schools so that when there are questions or concerns, teachers and principals are the first line of asking. If we are truly going to Grow Maury County together, then we need to openly talk and discuss about what we want to emphasize in our county. I encourage you to talk with your children, talk with your teachers, and talk with your principals. We are here to help your children be prepared for Life.

Jan Hanvey, the Maury County Public Schools middle school supervisor, said telling students about the Five Pillars of Islam is a one-day segment of the seventh-grade curriculum (as opposed to Porterfield’s contention of three weeks) and is intended to give students a richer perspective.

“It’s part of history,” Hanvey proclaimed to the Herald. “Children need to know the ‘why,’ and they need to be able to learn and know where to find the facts, instead of going by what they hear or what they see on the Internet.”

In a statement, Spring Hill Middle School Principal Shanda Sparrow acknowledged that perhaps the school did “not do the best job” in warning parents of sensitive subjects that their children were scheduled to learn. To promote an “open dialogue,” a parent-teacher meeting is set up for later in September to address the concern.

Robert Herriman is a microbiologist and the Editor-in-Chief of Outbreak News Today and the Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch

Follow @bactiman63


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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. Robert E. Lee says:

    These children are now all going to hell, thanks for removing religion from schools Obama…

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