Ohio District Stops Showing Film About Islam

Published November 23, 2013

An Ohio school district has agreed to change its curriculum after a mother and public interest law firm filed public records requests related to several Islam-related materials.

In 2011, Jenny McKeigue’s son was required to memorize the five pillars of Islam for his seventh-grade world history class. She also requested the district remove a video titled “30 Days: Muslims and America” from the curriculum. At first, they refused.

According to the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC), the video features a Christian named Dave who decides to try Islam for 30 days. He lives with a Muslim family, studying the Quran and praying daily, where Dave recites lines such as “I testify that Mohammad is the messenger of God.”

A year and a half after McKeigue’s complaint, the Olmsted Falls district has removed the video and stopped requiring the memory work.

“Teachers may not constitutionally show videotapes that violate the neutrality they must maintain toward religion,” said Richard Thompson. TMLC’s chief counsel. “Under the guise of teaching the history of Islam to seventh graders, history teachers were proselytizing students to the Islamic faith.” 

Image by David Morris