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Father upset after child finds Muslim book at school fair

Posted by on Oct. 31, 2013 at 1:20 AM
  • 108 Replies

http://mdjonline.com/view/full_story/23925195/article-Father-upset-after-child-finds-Muslim-book-at-school-fair?mobile_view=false&fb_source=message

Father upset after child finds Muslim book at school fair
by Hannah Morgan
October 26, 2013 01:28 AM | 13008 views | 90 90 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Special to the MDJ
Special to the MDJ
MARIETTA — When Thomas Prisock began to read the book his daughter brought home from her school’s book fair, he was shocked.

“It’s an indoctrination of Muslim culture,” he said.

The book, “Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: a Muslim Book of Colors” by Hena Khan, came from his daughter’s school book fair this week. She attends Dowell Elementary School in west Cobb.

His wife had gone in for the quarterly parent-teacher conference with their three children who attend Dowell, two sons in the second and fifth grades and their kindergarten daughter, and let each child pick out a book.

The daughter picked out a brightly colored picture book about the Islamic faith, which cost about $5, Prisock, a general contractor who lives in west Cobb said.

As they were reading through it together, Prisock was alarmed at the book’s message and pictures.

“Blue is the hijab Mom likes to wear. It’s a scarf she uses to cover her hair,” one page read.

“Red is the rug Dad kneels on to pray, facing toward Mecca five times a day,” read another.

A synopsis of the book on Amazon’s website says: “Magnificently capturing the colorful world of Islam for the youngest readers, this breathtaking and informative picture book celebrates Islam’s beauty and traditions.”

Prisock said he closed the book before they had a chance to read through it completely.

At Thursday night’s school board meeting, Prisock brought the book and showed the board members the religious symbols, including a picture of the Quran, which he said disturbed him.

Board members listened patiently, although Brad Wheeler, who represents the area that includes Dowell Elementary, said he knew very little about the policy for screening books for school book fairs.

Wheeler said he encouraged Prisock to contact his school principal and seek a resolution there, and to get back to him if he needed anything else.

The book fair was put on this year by the school’s PTA, and the books were sent in from Scholastic Press, a publishing company specializing in children’s books. The publisher selected the books to include in the sale, said PTA President and fifth-grade parent Abi Nesmith.

Students had the chance to visit the book fair starting last Thursday, Oct. 17, and created ‘wish lists’ of the books they liked after browsing the more than 3,000 books at the fair, she said.

Parents, during this week’s parent-teacher conferences, were able to come in and purchase the books for their children, she said.

Almost 1,000 books were sold at this year’s fair, Nesmith said, and the money went toward school grants for the arts, science programs and individual teacher needs that might arise in classrooms.

Dowell Elementary has a diverse student population, Nesmith said, and about 65 percent of the school’s 956 students are not native English speakers.

Prisock was not assured there was adequate representation from other religions and cultures at the fair, and was told there were no Christmas-themed books for sale when he visited.

“I don’t want this culture around my children, let’s get them educated first. Learn to read and write before we start teaching (about) the fanaticals,” Prisock said.

The school’s population was reflected in the book fair’s diversity, which included Christians, Muslims and Jews, Nesmith said, and Prisock’s complaint was the first that she had heard.

He brought the book to school and spoke with the principal about it, and was eventually allowed to return the book, he said.

“I know they are trying to do a good thing, this just struck me as wrong,” said Prisock, “That culture there doesn’t seem to have anything good coming out of it.”

Doug Goodwin, a spokesman for the Cobb school district, said the district “welcomes book fairs operated by Scholastic to our schools to promote literacy and foster a love for reading among Cobb students. The book fairs offer a wide variety of children’s literature, with thousands of titles selected by Scholastic for students to choose from and purchase. If a parent feels the content of a selection from the book fair is not appropriate for their child, the District’s Library Media Education department will gladly assist them in selecting a replacement book from Scholastic.”


Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal - Father upset after child finds Muslim book at school fair

by on Oct. 31, 2013 at 1:20 AM
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Replies (1-10):
beesbad
by Bronze Member on Oct. 31, 2013 at 1:27 AM
5 moms liked this

I totally agree with this dad, our children should never learn about other cultures in school. And I want to thank him for adding a new word to my vocabulary - fanaticals.

smh

Avarah
by Member on Oct. 31, 2013 at 1:33 AM
6 moms liked this

There were no books on Christmas because it's not Christmastime, but I've never been to a Scholastic bookfair that didn't include books about other cultures. 

It's obvious he's a moron, but what's scary is how many idjits will insist that information = indoctrination. 

DestinyHLewis
by Destiny on Oct. 31, 2013 at 1:37 AM

Lordy.... 

opal10161973
by on Oct. 31, 2013 at 2:08 AM
1 mom liked this

I ONLY have an issue with it, IF it is the ONLY book allowed that refers a religion.  If there is a book of each that covers all MAJOR religions, then I am perfectly fine with it.  Since, Muslim is considered a major religion in our world, I am perfectly happy with it, ONLY so long as the other major religions ALSO have a book there.  Obviously, not ALL religions will have a book of a similar type, but most of the major religions do have something similar.  I have more of an issue with the fact that it may be the only one of it's kind there. 

babie113
by Silver Member on Oct. 31, 2013 at 2:16 AM
2 moms liked this
facepalm let me guess he is only ok with his religious children's books anywhere. ...oh the hypocrisy
Arroree
by Ruby Member on Oct. 31, 2013 at 2:30 AM

This book was at my kids schools book fair as well and so were kids books that referenced other religions and their holidays/beliefs etc.

In my opinion, at least this book is up front about the religion it focuses on/talks about. Most kids books aren't so up front about it like this. A friend gave me a huge file of kids e-books and i ended up having to stop reading in mid book because what seemed like a harmless typical kids book ended up being nothing more than pushing Christianity.

While i try not to say negative things about other religions in front of my kids I also try not to discuss or read books based on those religions with them at this young of an age. They're already confused enough just by the "under God" part of the pledge and why they have to say another religions words in school like that.

So frankly, i have no problem with this or other religious books being sold at the book fair. It's up to a parent to look over and approve of the books before allowing their to buy them. This is on the parents not on the school.

Quoting opal10161973:

I ONLY have an issue with it, IF it is the ONLY book allowed that refers a religion.  If there is a book of each that covers all MAJOR religions, then I am perfectly fine with it.  Since, Muslim is considered a major religion in our world, I am perfectly happy with it, ONLY so long as the other major religions ALSO have a book there.  Obviously, not ALL religions will have a book of a similar type, but most of the major religions do have something similar.  I have more of an issue with the fact that it may be the only one of it's kind there. 



opal10161973
by on Oct. 31, 2013 at 2:52 AM

In this case, it was more on the people responsible for the book fair.  They could have just not put the book on the shelves and/or told Scholastic why they refused to do so.  I am sure Scholastic would be able to find a happy medium.  I am sure they would for this very reason.  Which makes me wonder why it wasn't?  Was it on the part of the school or the company?  The school has the final say, doesn't it? 

Quoting Arroree:

This book was at my kids schools book fair as well and so were kids books that referenced other religions and their holidays/beliefs etc.

In my opinion, at least this book is up front about the religion it focuses on/talks about. Most kids books aren't so up front about it like this. A friend gave me a huge file of kids e-books and i ended up having to stop reading in mid book because what seemed like a harmless typical kids book ended up being nothing more than pushing Christianity.

While i try not to say negative things about other religions in front of my kids I also try not to discuss or read books based on those religions with them at this young of an age. They're already confused enough just by the "under God" part of the pledge and why they have to say another religions words in school like that.

So frankly, i have no problem with this or other religious books being sold at the book fair. It's up to a parent to look over and approve of the books before allowing their to buy them. This is on the parents not on the school.

Quoting opal10161973:

I ONLY have an issue with it, IF it is the ONLY book allowed that refers a religion.  If there is a book of each that covers all MAJOR religions, then I am perfectly fine with it.  Since, Muslim is considered a major religion in our world, I am perfectly happy with it, ONLY so long as the other major religions ALSO have a book there.  Obviously, not ALL religions will have a book of a similar type, but most of the major religions do have something similar.  I have more of an issue with the fact that it may be the only one of it's kind there. 




Arroree
by Ruby Member on Oct. 31, 2013 at 3:10 AM
2 moms liked this

All we have to go on that this was the only book at the book fair with a religious slant is that the anti-Muslim father says so. That to me is not proof i'm willing to believe.

Nobody at the book fair forced this book on the child, Scholastic didn't force her to buy the book. It's on her parents for handing her money and sending her in unsupervised to buy whatever she wanted without even checking to see what was offered at the fair first. Irresponsible parenting, plain and simple.


Quoting opal10161973:

In this case, it was more on the people responsible for the book fair.  They could have just not put the book on the shelves and/or told Scholastic why they refused to do so.  I am sure Scholastic would be able to find a happy medium.  I am sure they would for this very reason.  Which makes me wonder why it wasn't?  Was it on the part of the school or the company?  The school has the final say, doesn't it? 

Quoting Arroree:

This book was at my kids schools book fair as well and so were kids books that referenced other religions and their holidays/beliefs etc.

In my opinion, at least this book is up front about the religion it focuses on/talks about. Most kids books aren't so up front about it like this. A friend gave me a huge file of kids e-books and i ended up having to stop reading in mid book because what seemed like a harmless typical kids book ended up being nothing more than pushing Christianity.

While i try not to say negative things about other religions in front of my kids I also try not to discuss or read books based on those religions with them at this young of an age. They're already confused enough just by the "under God" part of the pledge and why they have to say another religions words in school like that.

So frankly, i have no problem with this or other religious books being sold at the book fair. It's up to a parent to look over and approve of the books before allowing their to buy them. This is on the parents not on the school.

Quoting opal10161973:

I ONLY have an issue with it, IF it is the ONLY book allowed that refers a religion.  If there is a book of each that covers all MAJOR religions, then I am perfectly fine with it.  Since, Muslim is considered a major religion in our world, I am perfectly happy with it, ONLY so long as the other major religions ALSO have a book there.  Obviously, not ALL religions will have a book of a similar type, but most of the major religions do have something similar.  I have more of an issue with the fact that it may be the only one of it's kind there. 






Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Oct. 31, 2013 at 4:07 AM
7 moms liked this
Quoting Arroree:

Prisock said he closed the book before they had a chance to read through it completely.

Unfair of me, I know, but I can't help picturing that scene as him reacting like this:



And, yes, if the school doesn't have equivalent books that mention how Christians worship, and how Pagans worship, etc, then he does have a legitimate point.

JulietAngel89
by on Oct. 31, 2013 at 4:16 AM

how sad, I dont agree with the father.

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