Religion and Education Post-9/11: Advocates Switch Sides

September 8, 2002

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle

On September 8, 2002 The San Francisco Chronicle reported that "the Thomas More Law Center, a Michigan-based Christian rights foundation, filed a federal suit this summer on behalf of two families. It charges Contra Costa County's Byron Union School District with violating students' constitutional rights after a seventh-grade class used the workbook Islam: a Simulation of Islamic History and Culture. Religion in the schools has long been a thorny issue. This time, however, some advocates have switched sides. Some Christians, who clamored loudest to post the Ten Commandments... in public schools, argue that teaching from the Koran is a violation of the constitutional separation of church and state. But civil libertarians, who argued that a New Jersey first-grader should be prohibited from sharing in class a story out of his own Beginner's Bible, saw nothing wrong with students role-playing a pilgrimage to Mecca."