There’s a lack of information to make an accurate assessment here, but shutting down the entire school seems to be a bit of an overreaction.
You can, in fact, study religion(s) and use religious texts AND artifacts in the classroom for a secular educational purpose tied to a legitimate facet of curriculum. So yes, reading Bible passages, translating parts of the Koran, or examining facets of the Torah, for example, are all permissible if there is no proselytizing involved (e.g., world religions, English as literature, or social studies classes). I’ve had world geography students examine English translated excerpts from the Bible, the Koran, the Hebrew Bible, the Vedas, the Tripitaka, and the Analects of Confucius.
This particular assignment that is steeped in controversy in Virginia, at face value, could have been completely constitutional. Though not the best source from the article, this is problematic, if true: “Herndon also said on Facebook that the teacher Ã¢??has passed that Koran around that room every single day since the beginning.”" If that’s the case, and that indeed happened, it may be harder for the teacher to make an academic defense, as it starts to point more towards potential proselytizing. The facts will have to be investigated.[/quote]
Yeah, it was an over reaction. It was an inappropriate assignment, but the assignment should have just been trashed and a different one given. If the teacher was aware of what it said or intentionally set that up she should be disciplined. Not fired or anything, just written up or something.
BUT that’s the way it is nowadays. The muslims have stirred up such a shit storm in the world, especially the west, the very mention of them gets people’s assholes tighter than a vice.
Somebody should try this experiment. Go to a crowded mall and yell “Christian!” 3 times and see how people react. Then go to another crowded mall or return later when different people are their and yell “Muslim!” 3 times.
My guess is that in the first instance, people will just think you’re a nut. The second instance I am betting people will react very differently. They will be either afraid or angry or both. I bet you will clear a space faster than if you let a nasty fart go in a crowd.