A story that made recent headlines centered on parents of children in the Revere, Mass., school system who complained that their children were being made to study Islam. One parent complained that as a Christian he didn’t want his children reading that “Allah is the greatest; I bear witness that there is no God but Allah.” Other parents noted the hypocrisy of atheists, who were silent despite insisting that schools are bound by the Constitution to uphold the separation between church and state.
At least the school district’s actions could be defended on the grounds that Islam is a religion and that teaching about different faiths is not tantamount to proselytizing. A story out of Tennessee strikes as a horse of a different color.
Todd Starnes of Fox News writes that third-graders at Harold McCormick Elementary School in Elizabethton have received a “handout” from the radical group Nation of Islam:
Parent Sommer Bauer told me her son’s teacher gave him a document that portrayed the presidents on Mount Rushmore as being racists.
The Nation of Islam “sheet” explained that George Washington hailed from Virginia, a “prime breeder of black people.” Of Theodore Roosevelt, it was alleged he called Africans “ape-like.” There were also disparaging comments made about Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln.
The article notes that Superintendent of Schools E.C. Alexander refuted allegations that the Nation of Islam document had been distributed in class, insisting that a student had seized the handout from a pile of discarded teacher’s material and took it home to show his parents.
Starnes’s article goes on to indicate that since the story first broke, a second student has come home and claimed to receive the same handout.