Sullivan County parent complains about Islam curriculum, wants textbook change


SULLIVAN COUNTY, TN (WJHL)- A Sullivan County mother, upset about the way Islam is taught in her child’s school took her concerns to the board of education Monday night.

Michelle Edmisten was the only parent to speak during public comment about how Islam is being taught in schools.

She pleaded with the board asking for an immediate change.


“It is time as parents, teachers, and administrators we stand up and take back our families, our schools, and our country,” Edmisten said.

Edmisten said her daughter just finished the Islam unit, and felt some of the assignments went against her beliefs as a Christian.

She said her daughter refused to complete some of the assignments regarding Islam because of those beliefs, and as a result failed several of those assignments.

Monday night, she asked board members to change the curriculum.

“I would like to see the Pearson book yanked from the school immediately. I would like to see parents, Christians, veterans, anyone that’s anyone, stand up for this fight. How can I, as a Christian, say that I have these values? And I want to instill these values in my daughter, but then say its okay go ahead and do it,” Edmisten said.

Board of Education members listened, but said changing a textbook involves a process.

Board of Education Chair, Michael Hughes, said the state of Tennessee currently is reviewing the way Social Studies is taught.

“Its not like we have the option to get rid of the book, and get a book that don’t have those standards, so then the question becomes, can we find a textbook that is that much different, and is it worth it,” Edmisten said.


One board member, Mark Ireson, did make a last-minute motion at the end of the meeting to remove the textbook.

Director of Schools Evelyn Rafalowski said there is a protocol to follow, and no timeline was set on when they will take up that discussion again.

A public comment period is underway on the state’s draft for the new social study curriculum.

You have the chance to comment on the proposed changes until October 28th.

Copyright 2016 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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