- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A school in Michigan is under fire for assigning students in the 10th grade a project to devise a pamphlet that teaches Islam in a way that third-graders could understand.

Jeannette Hall, an angry mother of a 10th-grader at Jenison High School, posted her concerns on Facebook.

“This is what my daughter learned at Jenison Public Schools today,” she wrote, alongside a photo of the homework assignment and a designed pamphlet in pencil, Raw Story reported. “They have an assignment to make a pamphlet to be used to introduce Islam to 3rd graders!!”

The news outlet reported that the actual assignment, handed out in world history, was to see if students could take information gleaned in class and put it in a form that could be understood by third-graders — and not, specifically, to teach Islam to third-graders.

But as Ms. Hall asked on Facebook: “I can’t comprehend why prayer is not allowed in school, but teaching [any] religion is? What happened to separation of church and state? By requiring my daughter to make a pamphlet promoting another god, they are violating my religious beliefs. Also, they are presenting false information about who Allah is.”

Ms. Hall clarified in a later post that the class did not actually distribute the pamphlets to third-graders.

Jenison High School Principal Brandon Graham said of Ms. Hall’s post that “unfortunately, a lot of times in today’s society, information is spread very quickly without maybe knowing all the facts,” Raw Story reported.

He also said that the “assignment was to cover the five major world religions … Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. In our social studies classes, we certainly study all those religions to learn how a people, group and culture function. It helps us understand culture.”

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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