Letters to the Editor

Islam in Schools - O'Brien Letter

26081ab635ab2d479ca1_7f80dd534a6b868bee77_carousel_image_3d1adfd24c5365b115d5_5b0969680de0a2b560de_letter_to_the_editor-1.jpg
26081ab635ab2d479ca1_7f80dd534a6b868bee77_carousel_image_3d1adfd24c5365b115d5_5b0969680de0a2b560de_letter_to_the_editor-1.jpg

To the Editor:

In response to Susan O'Brien's Opinion accusing her Chatham neighbor of "veiled bigotry" or being "sad or ignorant."  

The speakers at the Board of Ed meeting were not in any way attacking Islam or any religion. Had Ms. O'Brien been at the meeting she would have known these speakers made it clear that what they want for their children is a curriculum that teaches all religions and world cultures equally. That is NOT what is happening in the 7th Grade World Cultures and Geography class.  

Sign Up for E-News

The ONLY religion that is taught in the Middle East and North Africa unit is Islam. There is not one word about Israel or Judaism. Not one word. The students learning about the Middle East in 7th grade would not even KNOW Israel is in the Middle East because there is no mention of it whatsoever.  

Perhaps Ms. O'Brien has a "veiled bigotry" toward Jews and would rather her children not learn about Israel?  Well, how "sad" and "ignorant" of her.

In this unit on the Middle East and North Africa, there is also not one word of Christians living there. Not one word. Considering Christianity originated in the Middle East in the First Century A.D., you'd think this would be somewhat relevant to the culture of the region.

What students learn in this class is that the ONLY religion people of the Middle East practice is ISLAM. That is simply not true.  

What the speakers were trying to address is this discrepancy. The point being made is not only are ALL other religions of the Middle East and North Africa excluded, but Islam is taught in great detail, including two separate presentations and two videos specifically teaching its tenets and doctrines.

Teaching any religion without the inclusion of others is a violation of District Policy No. 2270 “Religion in the Schools” which states, in part, “The instructional program of the school should inform pupils of many beliefs and customs stemming from religious, racial, ethnic and cultural heritages.”  Clearly, that is not what is happening in this course.

How dare Ms. O'Brien, who wasn't even at the Board meeting, publicly label a member of our community a "veiled bigot" or "sad" or "ignorant."  

It is Ms. O'Brien who is desperately ignorant of the facts, NOT the concerned parents who stood up to point out the blatant bias against Judaism and Christianity in this 7th grade class instruction.

It is my hope that Ms. O'Brien reviews the entire unit on Middle East/North Africa in the 7th Grade World Cultures and Geography class. After she has done so, I am hoping she will publicly apologize to these mothers who were merely pointing out the factual discrepancy, and requesting that the lesson be more inclusive of other religions.

Further, it is my hope that our community has learned a lesson in tolerance and understanding.  These days, so many are too quick to throw defamatory insults regarding hot button issues without any understanding whatsoever of the messengers' intent or heart.

Terry Baxter

Chatham

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Chatham

A Week at the Library of The Chathams Monday, June 18 – Sunday, June 24, 2018

Please note that the library will be closed on Sundays now through Labor Day weekend

PROGRAMS AND EVENTS

By Galina Natenzon

This week we are wrapping up our first session of ESL classes.  Stay tuned, we are planning a fall session to start in September.  New students are welcome to enroll!  This is the last week of calm and quiet at the library before our summer reading ...

Angie's Owners Want to Thank Their Chatham Customers

June 14, 2018

To the Editor:

We want to thank our customers and the entire community for their support and devotion to our business. Our last day of business will be July 31.

rWe will miss all the friends that we have developed over the past 26 years. Wishing everyone much success and happiness in the future.

Sincerely,

Louiza and Jimmy Poulimenos

P.S. "Until we meet ...

Lafayette School Receives 'Hope' Award from Community Foodbank of New Jersey

June 20, 2018

An award was given to Lafayette School on Saturday evening, June 16, at the Community Foodbank of New Jersey's annual Blue Jean Ball.

Lafayette School was one of 13 groups and individuals to receive the HOPE Award. Fourteen years ago Jim Donough, a fifth grade Lafayette teacher, started the Lafayette School and Community Foodbank partnership. In those 14 years, ...

Cool Ways to Save Money This Summer

As the summer temperatures rise, home cooling costs rise as well. But there are ways to help save money without sweating the heat:

To increase your cooling system’s efficiency by as much as 20%, get it checked out for summer.  A technician will clean the condenser, make sure you have the optimal amount of refrigerant, and ensure the airflow over the coil is ...