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Tenn. Schools Cut Field Trips to Religious Venues After Mosque Flap

Sumner-County-schoolsBy Tena Lee, Tennessean

Sumner County Schools students will no longer be allowed to take field trips to religious venues after the stepfather of a Hendersonville High School student accused the school of promoting Islam.

The issue surfaced when a couple of parents asked about a planned field trip to a mosque and a Hindu temple during the school’s back-to-school night, according to parent Mike Conner. Conner said parents raised concerns about the trip because the 36-week world studies course was only going to be visiting the two religious venues.

For the past 10 years, Hendersonville High School has offered an honors world studies class in which students spend three weeks learning about Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hindu and Islam.

Schools spokesman Jeremy Johnson said the class has visited religious venues in the past, including a Jewish synagogue, a Hindu temple and a mosque. No parents have complained in the past, he said. ...

The school system said this week that all trips to religious venues are off.

"After receiving a parent complaint regarding field trip locations, our district has reviewed the practice and decided to eliminate field trips to religious venues from this class, as it does not provide equal representation to all the religions studied in the course unit," read the statement. "This decision was made due to the fact that equal representation in regards to field trips for all religions studied in the course is not feasible." (Read more)

 

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