Despite brewing discontent over lessons related to Islam at Manhattan Beach Middle School and claims of indoctrination, the school district insists its curriculum follows state teaching standards that require students to learn about the major world religions.
Middle-school parents and others spoke out before the Manhattan Beach Unified School District board again this week, urging it to pull a middle-school social science textbook on medieval and early history and immediately discontinue any teaching about Islam.
The issue first arose in October, when Keith Johnson and his wife were approached by their middle-school son, who was concerned about an assignment for his history class.
“‘There is only one God — Allah.’ ‘People should submit to Allah.’ These are all phrases one would expect to hear uttered in a mosque, but, unfortunately, that’s not the case here,” Johnson told the school board Wednesday night. “These were all phrases our son was asked to write down in his seventh-grade social-science class.”
Johnson said the teacher and principal told him the lesson was part of learning about the history of the world.
“But what does presentation of the five pillars of Islam or testimony that Muhammad is the one true god have to do with history?” Johnson said. “The answer is absolutely nothing. It has more to do with religious dogma, which is strictly forbidden from being taught in public schools.”