Thought experiments are an important part of a well-rounded education. Teachers in every school have given their students assignments that ask them to imagine some hypothetical situation and write about it. Maybe you hopped in a time machine and found yourself in the age of dinosaurs. Maybe you are facing an ethical dilemma and you have to find an appropriate response. Or, hey, maybe you have decided to convert to Islam and now you have to explain your decision to your parents!
Most teachers would probably pass on that last one, but not Amber Staples. The eighth-grade teacher from Guernsey in the Channel Islands, a subsidiary of the UK government, gave her students just that task. Her students were told to write an essay telling their parents that they were embracing Islam and to ask them for acceptance. Staples, apparently recognizing that she was flirting with controversy, included the following disclaimer at the top of the homework:
“YOU ARE NOT ACTUALLY CONVERTING TO ISLAM. It is purely to test your knowledge of what we have learnt this year and how well you can argue objectively!!!!”
To literally no one’s surprise, that disclaimer failed to prevent the inevitable outrage that followed. Parents, for some reason, have a real problem with the kind of hypothetical assignment that asks pre-teens to “convert” to another religion. Especially when that religion is spreading like wildfire throughout Europe and is inextricably linked to some of the most brutal atrocities in modern history.
Just imagine the head-exploding reaction liberals would have if a Muslim student were forced to write an assignment explaining his decision to convert to Christianity.
It seems trivially simple to teach students about Islam and other religions without crossing the line into offensive areas, but yet this kind of thing keeps happening. In the U.S., we’ve seen multiple teachers wade across the line to have their students sing songs about Islam, memorize the five pillars of Islamic worship, and even wear hijab clothing. Either these teachers are rabid liberals or they are woefully deprived of common sense.
Parents in 2016 have enough to worry about without having their kids subjected to Islamic indoctrination. It’s not the business of the school system to play favorites with world religion. Teachers who use the classroom as a pulpit for their own liberal agenda should be fired without a second thought. For decades, liberals have fought tooth and nail to get every last tidbit of Christianity out of public schools; it’s time for them to abide by their own secular logic.