Tuesday, October 16, 2007
What's Your Grade?
Being a Christian mother with children in the public school system can be quite a challenge at times. My friend Aly got to experience this first hand last week. At church Sunday when she explained to me the situation she had gone through, I was so proud of her. But it was her response to her daughter that brought tears to my eyes. (Godly moms have that affect on me.)
Aly’s daughter Ely is in junior high and her oldest of three children. She is a beautiful little girl and quite the overachiever. Getting A’s in all her classes is quite common for Ely. When Ely shared with her mom what she was learning in one of her classes her mom made an immediate phone call to the school, followed by some very effective letters.
The curriculum in question,the study of the Muslim religion. It wasn’t just a broad overview with a few questions or a page of interactive study with some class participation. Nor was this study taught equally alongside other religions. Ely was to memorize and recite poems from the Qu’ran. This lesson also incorrectly taught the tolerance and peaceful nature of this faith.
Aly was irate, she has the life experience of growing up in Europe, and knows first hand the 'peaceful tolerance' of the Muslim faith. Her own brother is an officer serving his second tour right now in Iraq and emails her quite frequently. After her time with the teacher and principal, the teacher was responsive to the fact that in the face of tolerance of religions, the school wasn't being very tolerant with Aly's beliefs. She shared that she had been highly offended by the curriculum and made the point that the few sentences taught about Jesus and Christianity never included any prayers or the even the ten commandments. In fact those few sentences about Jesus were even incorrect.
After Aly’s phone calls and letters, and after a calm discussion in truth and love with Ely’s teacher and much prayer, her daughter is going to be doing a study on the geography of the Middle East instead.
The part of the story that touched my heart was what she had told her daughter in the beginning of all of this. Ely was aware that her mom would take her out of that class for these teachings and though she understood why, she was in tears about the possibility of failing her class and getting an 'F' for the first time. Her mother responded by saying, “Honey, if you get an ‘F’, I'll frame it. It won't stand for your ‘failure’, but for your ‘faith’.”
Chokes you up too doesn’t it?