Tuesday, August 20, 2013

An Open Letter to Minneha Elementary School Students and Staff

What a way to start the school year! You enter your classrooms excited to begin another year, and what do you get? A "scandal" created by people who don't seem to understand the purpose of education in general, let alone the mission of Minneha Core Knowledge Magnet in particular.

I'm sorry you had to take down your display depicting the Five Pillars of Islam. I hope you'll be able to replace it soon. You know better than many adults that learning about different religions is a great way to move toward a peaceful world. You know that pretending religion doesn't exist is a prescription for ignorance and bigotry later in life. You know that learning about a religion is not the same thing as believing. And your teachers know that the Supreme Court has upheld the right of public schools to provide education about religion at the same time that it rightly prohibits proselytizing in McCollum v Board of Education (1948) and in School District of Abington Township v Schempp (1963).  

So when it's time to do your unit on Islam later this fall, just like when you do your units on Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, and Hinduism, don't let the bullies intimidate you from learning. They're afraid because they don't know any better. You can be brave because you have knowledge.


  1. I agree with you completely. I am saddened that the school felt they needed to remove (temporarily) the display for one of their learning modules, because the ignorant don't understand.

  2. I completely agree Noelle. I get irritated that belief is equated with knowledge. I learn and read about a great many things I don't personally believe in. This includes many politicians brains.

    Thank you for putting this out for others to see. It was worth it if even one mind is changed.