SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN DOLORES GRESHAM REQUESTS DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION INSTRUCT LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO USE CAUTION WHEN TEACHING RELIGIOUS BELIEFS

NASHVILLE – Senate Education Committee Chairman Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville) has requested Tennessee Commissioner Candice McQueen issue a letter instructing local school districts to use caution to ensure that students are educated rather than indoctrinated while teaching religious beliefs and how they impact world history.

The letter comes after recent objections were raised by parents in several Tennessee counties regarding the teaching of Islamic practices in middle school curriculum. Some parents claim their children were required to memorize the five pillars of Islam and to write “Allah is the only God” as part of an assignment.

“Over the past few weeks, members of the General Assembly have received an increasing number of messages from constituents over the curriculum being used in Tennessee 7th grade Social Studies classrooms,” the letter said. “Most of these concerns surround the teaching of Islamic tenets in Tennessee classrooms. While we understand the importance of teaching world history to our students, we must be prudent in our approach so it is clear that we are educating rather than indoctrinating.”

“To help ensure that our State is providing the best quality education to our children we request that the Department of Education issue a letter instructing our local school districts to use caution when teaching religious beliefs and how they impact world history,” the letter concluded.



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