US Supreme Court rebuffs student’s Islamic ‘indoctrination’ appeal

US Supreme Court rebuffs student’s Islamic ‘indoctrination’ appeal October 16, 2019
Image via Facebook

A  FEW years back Caleigh Wood, above, a student at La Plata High School in Charles County, Maryland, enrolled in a state-mandated World History course, but as a devout Christian took issue with two parts of the course that dealt with Islam.

According to this report, in a “Muslim World” Powerpoint presentation she was told that a Muslim’s faith “is stronger than the average Christian” and that she was required to write the shahada, “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah” in a fill-in-the-blank worksheet.

Wood claimed that this violated her First Amendment Rights, and, in 2016, sued Principal Evelyn Arnold and Vice Principal Shannon Morris – and lost.

Both the Federal District Court and the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Arnold and Morris, ruling the teachings at issue:

Did not impermissibly endorse any religion nor did they compel Wood to profess any belief.

The Thomas More Law Center – mission: “to restore and defend America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and moral values)” – launched the lawsuit on Wood’s behalf,  and after losing the case announced in May of this year that it would lodge an appeal with the Supreme Court.

It filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari asking the Supreme Court:

To decide whether any legal basis exists to allow public schools to discriminate against Christianity while at the same time promote Islam. 

Yesterday (Tuesday) Wood and TMLC suffered another blow when the Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal.

Image via YouTube

In a May statement Richard Thompson, TMLC’s President and Chief Counsel, observed:

Under the guise of teaching history or social studies, public schools across America are promoting the religion of Islam in ways that would never be tolerated for Christianity or any other religion.

I’m not aware of any school which has forced a Muslim student to write the Lord’s Prayer or John 3:16: ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’

TMLC added:

On the other hand, schools have become willing instruments of Islamic indoctrination, and in Caleigh Wood’s case, the weapon of choice was the PowerPoint presentation. Caleigh and her 11th grade classmates were taught:

• “Most Muslim’s faith is stronger than the average Christian.”

• “Islam at heart is a peaceful religion.”

• Jihad is a “personal struggle in devotion to Islam, especially involving spiritual discipline.”

• “To Muslims, Allah is the same God that is worshiped in Christianity and Judaism.”

• “Men are the managers of the affairs of women” and “Righteous women are therefore obedient.”

Those statements came directly from the PowerPoint presentation to Caleigh’s class.

Thompson continued:

Many public schools have become a hot bed of Islamic propaganda. Teaching Islam in schools has gone far beyond a basic history lesson. Prompted by zealous Islamic activism and emboldened by confusing court decisions, schools are now bending over backwards to promote Islam while at the same time denigrate Christianity. 

We are asking the Supreme Court to provide the necessary legal guidance to resolve the insidious discrimination against Christians in our public schools.

Representing the Charles County school officials at the US court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit earlier this year, attorney Andrew Scott, said the ruling sends an important message to school officials throughout the state affirming their discretion to teach about religion.

Religion is an integral part of history. You can’t ignore it. The key is to teach it from a secular perspective – and not to proselytise.

But Thompson insisted that the school’s lesson clearly endorsed Islam, denigrated Christianity and amounted to:

Forced speech of a young Christian girl. This is unequal treatment of Christianity by the school system.

The lesson about Islam lasted five days in a year-long course when Wood was in 11th grade at La Plata High School in 2014-2015.

Wood’s parents argued that the lesson lacked any secular purpose and had:

The effect of promoting and endorsing Islam.

In its ruling, the court found that assignment involving the shahada was meant to assess whether students understood the “beliefs and practices” of Muslims. The task was factual, and students

Were not required to memorise the shahada, to recite it, or even to write the complete statement of faith.

The court’s opinion noted that the school’s content specialist had testified that the language included in the slide about the strength of the Muslim faith relative to Christianity was “inappropriate” and that he would have advised the teacher not to include it in the lesson.

Still the court found the slide did not advocate a particular belief system and was relevant to the overall secular lessons being taught.

Charles County Schools Superintendent Kimberly A Hill said that the slide is no longer used in the school’s curriculum and that:

We don’t teach religion. What we are teaching is world history.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • johnsoncatman

    Must . . . resist . . . commenting . . . on . . . that . . . selfie-pic.

  • Kit Hadley-Day

    All these snowflakes that can’t even take take the mention of other religions, must be weird to live in a bubble so solid that reality need never enter it.

  • Broga

    “Did not impermissibly endorse any religion nor did they compel Wood to profess any belief.”

    That would never be enough for a “devout Christian”. They want to make their own rules and tolerance is not an acceptable attitude.

  • CoastalMaineBird


  • Sassafras

    I had an Islam unit in 9th grade World History, and a few parents bitched69 about it. I’m glad my teacher kept teaching, despite the idiotic69 parents.

  • adhoc

    Okay mods, which word of my post is too much for the nanny filter?

  • Gussie FinkNottle

    Meh. I learned all that stuff in Christian fundie homeschool. Had to memorize the Five Pillars and everything. Ironically, some of this lesson was actually a bit biased against Islam. I guess Miss Priss didn’t pick up on it

  • Raging Bee

    Word? Post? Nanny? Filter? Who knows? This nannyware is getting wonkier every 69damn week.

  • Raging Bee


  • barriejohn

    When I were a lad, I, like many others, belonged to the I-Spy Club, which was run by “Big Chief I-Spy” via the Daily Mail and the wonderful little I-Spy Books, sold in W.H.Smith and reputable newsagents (sic). Those who signed up were sent a booklet containing codes (Bison Code, Running Water Code, etc.), and messages published in the paper or between friends could thus be encoded and read. Maybe Barry could come up with a similar idea (“Big Chief Freethinker”), and we could post comments in a different code each day, thus avoiding the censor’s blue pencil. I have located illustrations on the net which bring back many happy memories, but, as they invariably take up half the CMPPEZ (Simple Secularist Code) page, I shall refrain from linking to any and just post this instead:

    Those were the days!

  • barriejohn

    Let’s be kind; she may well be playing the part of Jezebel in a church production, for all we know!

  • Rann

    I’m not aware of any school which has forced a Muslim student to write the Lord’s Prayer or John 3:16: ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’

    He might might not be aware but 1) how many schools have made non-Christians recite the Our Father at the start of the school day and 2) have posters of John 3:16 plastered all over the classroom? Probably far more than he’d like to admit since that would hurt his persecution complex

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    OK, which word is too much

    I don’t know if we learned about 1slam, but we certainly learned about the Eastern Orthodox religions in my Religion class in Catholic grade school.

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    I had the same issue. It’s 1slam

    Or not

  • WallofSleep

    It’s 1slam. That’s on the patheos list of banned words.

  • WallofSleep

    When you’re aiming for “duckface”, but can only reach “level: parakeet”.

  • Broga

    If reality enters into it the bubble bursts. Another weirdness is that although they live in the bubble and claim to believe, all the incredible divine instructions they also have to abandon them or they could not live, procreate and earn a living in 2019.

    How do they do this? I have had this feat explained to me by by a devoutly Christian acquaintance. Her explanation is that there are “different kinds of believing.” Her kind encompasses levels, complexities and depths which are “unfortunately something which you cannot understand and are therefore unable to experience the grace of the Lord.” I guess I will just have to live with that.

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    That’s the only thing remotely questionable about this class; and even that could have been in answer to a question, like “What is the shahada?”

    There is no reason to think it was anything but that

  • Carstonio

    Wow, you missed the most revealing part of the original complaint:‮malsi‬-homework-dispute/article_5d890091-a014-52cf-9096-7b415dd8d9ae.html

    “I told her straight up ‘you could take that Muslim-loving piece of paper and shove it up your white [expletive],” Kevin Wood said in an interview. “If [students] can’t practice Christianity in school, they should not be allowed to practice ‮malsI‬ in school.”

  • Neal Allen Stone

    Typical Christian, teach only about Christianity ut fuck everyone else.

  • I don’t know what she was aiming for, but she achieved full backpfeifengesicht.

  • Barry Duke

    Wow! Just … W*T*F! Thanks for the link.

  • Cynthia

    Well, my girls’ school had them visit a mosque and get a lesson in Islam from an actual Muslim, while wearing modest attire that included a hijab.

    That same week, they visited an important church and learned about Christianity.

    Nobody was trying to convert them. They did this as part of a Jewish program that ran semesters in Israel, and you need to know some basics in order to understand stuff like the Crusades.

  • Jennifer A. Nolan

    Would they please take that name off their banned-words list??!

  • Rational Human

    Yep, “devout” is not the first thing that came to mind.

  • WallofSleep

    Pretty much every common word associated with the third Abrahamic religion is on the patheos list of banned words: the name of the religion, the name for its adherents, the name of its prophet and its god.

    Last time I checked the list itself contains ~1,200 banned words, many entries being different spelling variations of a single word/concept.

  • Jennifer A. Nolan

    Thank you for the heads-up. But I’m saying it again: banning the standard names for this religion is as offensive as banning black moviegoers from the front of the theater!!

  • Dana W

    They all DO worship the same god. They are all rooted in Abraham.