The second public school district in Washington state in less than a week was warned that it must “cease and desist” its promotion of Islam through its Ramadan policy that gives Muslim students special privileges.
The Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (FCDF) sent the superintendent and school board of Northshore School District (NSD) – located in Bothell, Washington, just 30 minutes from Seattle – a “cease-and-desist” letter demanding that officials put an end to their special Ramadan policy or face legal action.
Islam not above all religions
FCDF Executive Director Daniel Piedra condemned the policy instructing faculties to make special accommodations for Muslim students during the Islamic holiday season.
“The school district’s so-called Ramadan ‘accommodations’ run roughshod over the First Amendment and are a blatant insult to students of other faiths,” Piedra argued in a statement on FCDF’s website. “Under the mantle of ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion,’ school officials have exalted Islam as thestate-sponsored religion. Teachers and parents are outraged, and they should be.”
NSD’s “Diversity & Equity Department” issued school officials its directive to make Muslim students feel comfortable as they receive special privileges not extended to students of other faiths.
“[The policy is designed to ensure Muslim students] have the right accommodations and support from teachers and their peers] during the Ramadan period,” district the department explained, calling schools to go out of their way to let students conduct their month-long Islamic rituals during Ramadan – which started last week.
A extensive list of ways for teachers to treat Muslim students like a privileged class were outlined.
“[Plan in advance with Muslim students to allow them to] quietly slip away [for prayer to] avoid calling unwanted attention to them,” the NSD’s Ramadan guidelines read. “When planning school activities and events, think about how it will impact practicing Muslim students [by asking], ‘Will they feel left out? and ‘Will they feel pressured to break their fast before sunset or Iftar (breaking of fast)?’”
In addition, teachers are expected to incorporate teachings of the Islamic faith into their lesson plans.
“A brief mention of Ramadan or a lesson on it may promote the feeling of inclusivity [because] [m]any Muslim students may feel embarrassed to be specially accommodated,” the guidelines continue. “Privately offer information about nutritional adaptations [to Muslim students while they fast during the day.”
And teachers must not be remiss to provide special areas for Muslim students, complete with an assortment of Islamic materials for their reading enjoyment.
“[Create] comfortable [safe spaces for Muslim students with] books, magazines and other things to keep students busy,” the guidelines direct school officials. “[Teachers,] if you are aware of practicing Muslim students in your school and are still unsure about how to support them during Ramadan, don’t hesitate to ask them privately what they need.”
FCDF informed the district’s leaders that overseeing students’ religious rituals is well beyond their duties as instructors.
“Administrators and teachers must never be placed in the position of monitoring a child’s compliance with a particular religious requirement, such as prayer, dietary restrictions or wearing a head covering,” FCDF’s cease-and-desist leader argues, noting that under these circumstances, the First Amendment requires neutrality on religion.
The letter also makes it clear that public school officials are prohibited from favoring a particular religion at school.
“While students are allowed to practice their religion, the team said, and ‘nothing in the Constitution prohibits public schools from accommodating students’ religious exercise,’ public schools are not allowed to have policies or practices that ‘convey a message that a particular religion, or a particular religious belief, is ‘favored,’” WND explained from the demand. “FCDF said the district must ‘restore the rights of non-Muslim students of faith to be treated equally under the law’ and review all instances in which the school’s Ramadan policy was enforced.”
Not in my classroom
“Multiple complaints” from the community were waged against the school’s newly enforced pro-Muslim program, and one teacher in the school district just northeast of Seattle asked for legal assistance to keep Islam from infiltrating her classroom.
“An anonymous Northshore teacher contacted FCDF [Thursday] and said the district’s pro-Islam ‘diversity’ mandates are being forced on teachers,” FCDF informed. “The teacher stated the district’s oppressive policies ‘need[ed] to be exposed.’”
Several demands were made on the district by FDCF – if it wants to avoid a lawsuit:
- Rescind the Ramadan Policy
- Restore the rights of non-Muslim students of faith to be treated equally under the law
- Undertake a review of all instances in which District officials enforced the Ramadan Policy
- Inform staff and parents of the District’s unlawful actions and your efforts to remedy them
NSD will be sued if attorneys discover its failure to take action within five business.
Piedra is amazed that teachers are expected to implement Islamic instruction in their classrooms when most don’t even have a clue about student’s free speech rights.
“No doubt school officials have a difficult job in accommodating their students’ needs, but one may wonder how these ‘educators’ are qualified to teach our children when they can’t even comprehend basic First Amendment principles,” FCDF’s legal expert noted.
Second time around
FCDF was busy over the past week also responding to another Seattle-area school districts’ directives to promote Ramadan in their classrooms, as the terrorist-tied Center for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) issued its directives statewide for districts to follow – including having teachers recite Islamic Ramadan blessings to students in Arabic.
“As Ramadan began, a public school board urged teachers to assist Muslim pupils in adhering to the annual Muslim fast,” LifeSiteNews announced Friday. “… Dieringer School District (DSD) in Washington state has asked teachers to follow guidelines set by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) about Muslim pupils’ religious practices during school hours.”
When CAIR issued DSD Superintendent Judy Martinson its “Informative Letter on Upcoming Islamic Holidays and Religious Accommodations,” in March, she complied by enacting the Islamic terrorist group’s letter to school principals as the district’s official policy.
Expecting to have free reign in the district, CAIR’s civil rights attorney for Washington state heaped a list of directives upon schools districtwide.
“CAIR lawyer Amanda Misasi had asked that teachers not schedule ‘tests or important assignments’ on two Muslim holy days – Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha – that these holidays be added to school calendars, that fasting students be allowed to spend the lunch period in the library, and that teachers welcome Muslim students to the classroom during Ramadan by wishing them ‘Ramadan Mubarak’ (i.e. ‘Have a blessed celebration’) or ‘Ramadan Kareem’ (i.e. ‘May Ramadan be generous to you’),” LifeSiteNews’ Dorothy Cummings McLean informed. “Misasi also requested facilities for in-school prayer.”
Misasi also expects the Muslim observances and accommodations to be administered all year long – not just during Ramadan.
“In addition to supporting Muslim students during Ramadan, you can also support Muslim students in your school by accommodating their need for prayer year-round,” Misasi wrote, according to LifeSiteNews. “One or two of which will typically occur during school hours, depending on the time of year.”