Parents at a Wichita, Kan. elementary school were shocked to discover a giant wall display inside the building promoting the five pillars of Islam.
“The bulletin board that originally caused the concern does represent the 5 Pillars of Islam — in a historical context of their studies,” the spokesperson said.
The district said the photograph of the bulletin board is misleading because it is “without context.”
“There is also a painting of the Last Supper hanging in the school as part of the study of art and the Renaissance period,” the spokesperson said. “A photo take of a bulletin board without context is misleading, and some have taken it out of context without having all the information.”
Nevertheless, the school has removed the Islamic bulletin board until the subject matter is taught later this fall.
School officials said the study of Islam is part of their “Core Knowledge” magnet curriculum.
Students also study Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism.
“The students study civilizations throughout time, throughout the world, and cover religion with a focus on the history and geography in the development of civilizations,” the spokesperson said.
“The purpose is not to explore the matters of theology, but to understand the place of religion and religious ideas in history,” the spokesperson added. “The Core Knowledge goal is to familiarize, not proselytize; to be descriptive, not prescriptive.”
If in fact, the purpose was not to teach theology, why was the school teaching the five pillars of Islam?