Maryland Couple Sues Public School Claiming It Promoted Islamic Indoctrination

(Photo: Courtesy the Wood family, via Thomas More Law Center)John Kevin Wood and his wife Melissa.

A couple is suing in federal court a school district in Maryland claiming that their daughter was exposed to Islamic indoctrination as part of a high school course.

John Kevin Wood and his wife, Melissa, sued Charles County Public Schools and La Plata High School for allegedly subjecting their daughter to a class that compelled students to accept Islam.

Filed last week in the US District Court for the District of Maryland, the suit argues that the course promoting Islam is unconstitutional and that the Woods were punished for expressing their concerns with the course content.

"This case, therefore, seeks to protect and vindicate the fundamental constitutional rights of two Maryland parents and their daughter, C.W., who were harshly punished for voicing concerns about the desecration of their Christian beliefs and heritage and the promotion of the Islamic faith in the Defendants' World History class," read the lawsuit.

"Defendants' curriculum, practices, policies, actions, procedures, and customs promote the Islamic faith by requiring students to profess the five pillars of Islam and to write out faith statements of the religion. Defendants require that students write out and confess the Shahada, the Islamic Profession of Faith."

Expand | Collapse
(Photo: http://www.ccboe.com)The campus of La Plata High School of La Plata, Maryland.

The Wood family is being represented by the Thomas More Law Center, a conservative law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which learned about the situation via a Fox News story from October 2014 of Kevin Wood being barred from entering the grounds of La Plata High School.

Richard Thompson, chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, told The Christian Post about why they took the case.

"A Christian student whose parents did not want her to become immersed in Islam had to say words that really violated her Christian beliefs."

Thompson added that "we think that the school violated the bounds of what they should be teaching," stating that this was "a constitutional issue."

"It is violating the Establishment Clause. It is promoting one religion over another and they're not supposed to do that," continued Thompson.

"In fact, it is our understanding that the school spent one day covering Christianity, some of it very disparagingly, and they spent two weeks covering Islam."

The Law Center also took exception to the treatment of Kevin Wood given his service in the Marine Corps and as a fireman.

Katie O'Malley-Simpson, the director of communications for Charles County Public Schools, told The Christian Post that the Wood suit "is the only complaint about World History that I have knowledge of at La Plata or any other county school."

O'Malley-Simpson also directed CP to a statement released by CCPS noting that they could not directly comment on pending litigation but that the initial concerns were raised in October 2014.

"The particular unit in question is on the formation of Middle Eastern empires in which students learned the basic concepts of the Islamic faith and how it, along with politics, culture, economics and geography, contributed to the development of the Middle East," read the statement.

"Other religions are introduced when they influence or impact a particular historical era or geographic region. For example, when reviewing the Renaissance and Reformation, students study the concepts and role of Christianity. When learning about the development of China and India, students examine Hinduism and Buddhism."

Regarding the October 2014 "no trespass" order for Wood, the school system stated that this was issued because it "threatened to cause problems that would potentially disrupt La Plata High School this morning."

The Thomas More Law Center hopes to get an injunction allowing Kevin Wood to return to campus, as his daughter is a senior and expected to attend graduation.