Virginia school district cancels classes as anger mounts over Islamic lesson

VERONA, Va. -- Schools in a Virginia county were closed Friday and a weekend holiday concert and athletic events were cancelled amid an angry backlash about a school lesson involving the Islamic faith.

See Full Article

School officials said they had not received any specific threats but were alarmed by the volume and tone of the complaints, including some from outside Virginia, according to news reports. In response, additional police were stationed at schools Thursday in Augusta County in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley.

Anger over the lesson has escalated since a teacher at Riverheads High School had students in her class complete an assignment one week ago. It involved practicing calligraphy and writing a statement in Arabic.

The statement translated to: "There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah."

At a forum Tuesday, one parent said the assignment promoted a false religious doctrine, while other parents expressed outrage. Some demanded that the teacher be fired.

The teacher's lesson was drawn from instructional material that also includes Judeo-Christian assignments.

School officials said the aim of the lesson was to illustrate the complexity of the written Arabic language, not to promote any religious system.

In a statement, district officials said they will use a different example of Arabic in future classes.

"Although students will continue to learn about world religions as required by the state Board of Education and the Commonwealth's Standards of Learning, a different, non-religious sample of Arabic calligraphy will be used in the future," Doug Shifflett, Augusta County's assistant superintendent for administration, said in a statement.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Ontario ticket claims $5M Lotto 649 jackpot

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO - Saturday night's $5 million Lotto 649 draw was claimed by a ticket sold in Ontario. And the guaranteed $1 million prize went to a ticket holder in Quebec. The jackpot for the next draw on Sept. Source
  • Airlines rev up to offer discount airfares — but don't be blinded by the price, say experts

    Canada News CBC News
    Canadian airlines are lining up to offer the latest trend in air travel: cheap, no-frills fares. But passengers should be careful what they wish for. That's because some may find the discount fares so stripped down, they're just not worth it. Source
  • B.C. joins national trend to clean up political fundraising — and we're paying for it

    Canada News CBC News
    British Columbia is introducing political contribution limits, banning union and corporate donations and asking taxpayers to make up the difference, bringing the province in line with fundraising rules in most other jurisdictions in Canada. Political fundraising in B.C. Source
  • 'Quintessential British treasure:' What next for London's disappearing phone booths?

    World News CBC News
    Like a throwback to a bygone era, bright red phone booths still line the streets of London's central tourist area. These days, they serve much less as a means of communication than as a backdrop for visitors' photos. Source
  • Edmonton Liberian community mourns 3 killed in collision with stolen truck

    Canada News CTV News
    Family, friends and members of Edmonton’s Liberian community are mourning the deaths of three women who were killed in a collision that involved a stolen truck. Jeannette Wright, Glorious Decontee David, Eva Fatu Tumbay and Janet Wright Gaye were on a road trip to visit family and friends in Minnesota when their minivan was struck around 3 a.m. Source
  • RCMP called off chase of stolen truck before 3 killed in crash near Alberta-Sask. border

    Canada News CBC News
    RCMP in Saskatchewan say it called off the police pursuit of a stolen truck that ended up colliding with a minivan and killing three women from Edmonton. On Thursday morning, officers in Maidstone, Sask. Source
  • Prince of the city

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Step aside, John Tory. The real prince of this town has red hair and a cheeky smile. Prince Harry — in Toronto for his Invictus Games — charmed, dazzled, joked, empathized, hugged children, petted dogs and truly lived up to his title as the People’s Prince. Source
  • Iran tests ballistic missile and 'we won't ask anyone's permission'

    World News CBC News
    Iran said on Saturday it had successfully tested a new ballistic missile with a range of 2,000 kilometres and would keep developing its arsenal despite U.S. pressure to stop. The United States has imposed unilateral sanctions on Iran, saying its missile tests violate a UN resolution, which calls on Tehran not to undertake activities related to missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons. Source
  • Ugo Fredette now in Saint-Jérôme detention centre, police say

    Canada News CBC News
    Ugo Fredette is now in a detention centre in Saint-Jérôme after spending nearly a week in two Ontario hospitals and a Quebec hospital, after he was arrested last week in connection with an Amber Alert case. Source
  • Damage in Puerto Rico strains relief efforts by agencies

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Federal agencies grappled Saturday with the vast scale of the disaster in Puerto Rico left by Hurricane Maria, the third major storm to strike the U.S. in less than a month. Three days after the massive hurricane crossed the U.S. Source