Md. parents file suit in federal court against Charles County schools, high school staff

WASHINGTON — A Maryland couple is suing Charles County Schools in federal court after objecting to their daughter’s world history lesson involving Islam.

The lawsuit filed last week by Michigan-based Thomas More Law Center on behalf of John Kevin and Melissa Wood names Charles County schools, its board, and the principal and vice principal of La Plata High School as defendants.

In the court documents, the Woods allege their daughter was forced to profess and write out the Islamic Creed in her world history class as part of an assignment.

The school did not allow the girl to opt out of the lesson and receive alternative assignments on the basis of religious beliefs, according to the suit — which says that policy is still in practice at Charles County Schools.

Charles County Schools released a clarification of its world history curriculum, but it is not commenting on the suit. The statement said in part:

“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. 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.”

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Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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