John Kevin and Melissa Wood

John Kevin and Melissa Wood

A Maryland high school punished a student for refusing to profess faith in Islam, gave her failing grades for a series of assignments that violated her Christian beliefs then threatened her father with arrest for complaining, a federal lawsuit charges.

The suit was filed in U.S. District Court against the Charles County Public Schools in La Plata, Maryland, its board of education, Principal Evelyn Arnold and Vice Principal Shannon Morris by the Thomas More Law Center.

A spokeswoman for the district told WND that officials were aware of the issue but said Arnold and Morris would not be commenting.

Plaintiffs are Marine Corps veteran John Kevin Wood and his wife, Melissa, who “refuse[d] to allow their teenage daughter to be subjected to Islamic indoctrination and propaganda in her high school world history class.”

The lawsuit charges that the defendants’ “curriculum, practices, policies, actions, procedures, and customs promote the Islamic faith by requiring students to profess the five pillars if Islam.”

The students, the complaint says, were required to “write out and confess the shahada, the Islamic profession of faith.”

The lawsuit charges that school officials concealed the curriculum by using two separate history textbooks, one of which contained the Islamic teachings and which students were required to leave at school. The other, which did not contain the teachings, was allowed to be taken home, the complaint explains. The school also excised the Islamic teachings from the course syllabus.

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“Defendants have treated plaintiffs’ Christian beliefs and heritage with deliberate indifference, and have been hostile toward C.W. [the student] and her family,” the complaint alleges. It explains that Arnold and Morris violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments as well as state and federal law by “depriving plaintiffs and C.W. of their fundamental right to be free from a public school’s promotion of certain religious beliefs, their fundamental right to be able to speak freely and raise concerns about religion being taught in our public schools without retaliation, and their fundamental right to be free from unjust discrimination against their Christian heritage.”

The legal team notes the shahada states, “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.”

“For non-Muslims, reciting the statement is sufficient to convert one to Islam,” the complaint says. “Moreover, the second part of the statement, ‘Muhammad is the messenger of Allah,’ signifies the person has accepted Muhammad as their spiritual leader. The teenager was also required to memorize and recite the Five Pillars of Islam.”

Not only did the district refuse permission for C.W. to opt out of the religious assignments, it imposed grades of zero. Further, the complaint says, the district disparaged Christianity in multiple ways, including the statement, “Most Muslims’ faith is stronger than the average Christian.” The district taught that the West engages in “imperialistic pursuits” and insists “men are the managers of women.”

It also taught: “To Muslims, Allah is the same god that is worshipped in Christianity and Judaism.”

The district’s teachings specified that the Quran “is the word of Allah,” while Jews and Christians “believe the Torah and the Gospels were revealed to Moses and the New Testament writers.”

“The sugarcoated version of Islam taught at La Plata High School did not mention that the Quran explicitly instructs Muslims ‘to kill the unbelievers wherever you find them.’ (Sura 9-5),” the complaint says.

John Kevin Wood discovered the teachings and called to voice his objections, the lawsuit says, but the school imposed a “no trespass” order against him, threatening him with arrest if he came onto school property. The school refused to give him any opportunity “to refute the untrue allegations” made by Arnold.

“The Woods, as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God and our Savior, that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, and that following the teachings of Jesus Christ is the only path to eternal salvation. The Woods believe that it is a sin to profess commitment in word or writing to any god other than the Christian God. Thus, they object to their daughter being forced to deny the Christian God and to her high school promoting Islam over other religions,” the lawsuit explains.

“The school ultimately refused to allow the Woods’ daughter to opt-out of the assignments, forcing her to either violate her faith by pledging to Allah or receive zeros for the assignments. Together, John Kevin Wood, Melissa Wood, and their daughter chose to remain faithful to God and refused to complete the assignments, even though failing grades would harm her future admission to college and her opportunities to obtain college scholarships.”

Wood was deployed in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm “and lost friends to Islamic extremists,” the complaint notes. Later, he “responded as a firefighter to the 9/11 Islamic terror attack on the Pentagon.”

“Wood witnessed firsthand the destruction created in the name of Allah and knows that Islam is not ‘a religion of peace.’ The school prevented John Kevin Wood from defending his daughter’s Christian beliefs against Islamic indoctrination, even though as a Marine, he stood in harm’s way to defend our nation, and the Charles County Public Schools,” the lawsuit says.

Part of a school worksheet promoting Islam

Part of a school worksheet promoting Islam

“Defendants forced [the] Woods daughter to disparage her Christian faith by reciting the shahada, and acknowledging Mohammed as her spiritual leader. Her world history class spent one day on Christianity and two weeks immersed in Islam. Such discriminatory treatment of Christianity is an unconstitutional promotion of one religion over another,” said Thomas More Law Center President Richard Thompson.

The lawsuit concludes: “Defendants deliberately [chose] this curriculum, instructional materials, and texts, and punished Christian students who disagree with espousing religious statements and reproducing religious doctrine that promotes Islam. The actions, policies, procedures, customs, and curriculum of defendants unconstitutionally endorse the Islamic religion.”

As a result, it says, the Christian family suffered “irreparable harm, including the loss of their fundamental constitutional rights, entitling them to declaratory and injunctive relief.”

“Defendants, by requiring C.W. to make reference to a belief in the Muslim god, forced C.W. to directly violate her sincerely held religious beliefs. Defendants did not allow C.W. to opt out of these assignments or receive alternative assignments. Defendants refused to accommodate C.W.’s Christian beliefs. Instead, defendants coerced and punished C.W. for refusing to violate her Christian beliefs,” the claim explains.

“House of War: Islam’s Jihad Against the World” conveys what the West needs to know about Islam and the violent, expansionary ideology that seeks the subjugation and destruction of other faiths, cultures and systems of government


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