A Maryland father who asked that his daughter be excused from learning about Islam in her world history class now finds himself under a no-trespass order that prevents him from setting foot on the girl’s public school campus.
The events leading to the no-trespass order occurred at La Plata High School in La Plata, Md., a small town about 30 miles southeast of Washington, D.C., SoMDNews reports, a website for three local newspapers.
The dad is Kevin Wood, a former corporal and eight-year veteran in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Wood was initially upset because he did not want his daughter, a high school junior, to participate in instruction about Islam. (RELATED: Massachusetts Father Mad Just Because Public School Teaches ‘There Is No God But Allah’)
He called the school district office last week, first speaking to an administrative assistant and eventually speaking to La Plata High vice principal Shannon Morris.
A school district spokeswoman, Katie O’Malley-Simpson, said Wood threatened to cause problems at the school during his conversation with Morris. O’Malley-Simpson provided no specific information about any threats the former Marine made.
“Safety comes first,” she told SoMDNews. “We don’t allow disruptions at the schools, especially if we’re forewarned of them.”
Wood denies making any threats. His version of the conversation is that he explained in no uncertain terms that he does “not believe in” Islam and wants his daughter removed from class while other students study the Muslim religion.
“I told her straight up ‘you could take that Muslim-loving piece of paper and shove it up your white ass,’ Wood said, according to the local newspaper.
Wood’s wife, Melissa Wood, backs her husband’s story.
“Nowhere did he ever threaten,” she added. “And this is where it’s gotten totally blown out of proportion.”
Wood is also frustrated that his daughter’s world history teacher would dedicate taxpayer-funded class time to Islam while giving short shrift — or just no shrift — to Christianity.
O’Malley-Simpson, the school district spokeswoman, insisted that students must pass world history to graduate high school, and that the Maryland State Board of Education requires instruction on the “Middle East” as part of the world history curriculum.
It’s not clear if students learn the Jesus story, which Christians believe occurred in the Middle East very early in the Common Era, or the many stories of the Hebrew Bible, which are also set squarely in the Middle East.
In any case, Wood’s daughter must learn about Islam or fail.
“In the case of world history and other subjects, it’s part of the curriculum and it’s part of the standards you’re supposed to learn,” O’Malley-Simpson told SoMDNews.
The school district flack also noted that La Plata High teachers brush on Christianity when they cover the Renaissance and the Reformation, periods of great upheaval in the history of Christianity.
O’Malley-Simpson said students learn about Hinduism and Buddhism during units on South Asia and East Asia.
On Monday, the Woods’ daughter did not attend her world history class and she won’t be completing any future assignments concerning Islam.
The girl will receive zero credit for each of the assignments, according to the parents.
The Wood family has indicated plans to take their grievances to state legislators as well as the Maryland Department of Education. (RELATED: What The Hell’s The Matter With Maryland?)