Muslim Cultural Presentation to Elementary School Children Angers Parents

October 20, 2005

Source: The Northwest Indiana Times

On October 20, 2005 The Northwest Indiana Times reported, "A presentation about Muslim culture last month to students at Porter Lakes Elementary School upset parents and sparked an argument about the role of religion in public schools. On Sept. 30, a second-grade class and the entire third grade listened to a cultural presentation by the family of some Muslim students who are new to the school. In addition to talking about Muslim traditions, the children were read the book 'Ramadan' by Carol Gnojewski... The presentation involved a lot of religious content because religion is heavily intertwined with the Muslim culture, [Porter Township School Corp. Superintendent Nick Brown said]. The religious aspect of the assembly angered parents, who say that religion has no role in the public school setting. Several parents intend to discuss the issue at tonight's School Board meeting... 'In hindsight, I would still approve a presentation for the students,' Brown said. 'But I would ask that we send home a note ahead of time.' Prior notification would allow parents to ask questions before or even sit in on a presentation, he said."