CAIR-CT: SCHOOL PANEL CALLS FOR MIDDLE EAST STUDIES NEXT YEAR
A Board of Education committee has given its approval to launch a Middle Eastern studies course at the two high schools this fall.
The board’s Instructional Committee unanimously approved the course Tuesday night. If it is approved at the school board’s March 19 meeting, it will be offered at Lyman Hall and Sheehan high schools this fall, Martin Taylor, the district’s assistant superintendent for instruction, said Wednesday.
Taylor said the course will examine the geography of the region as well as the history, politics and cultures. “We think it will tie in well to some other courses we offer,” Taylor said.
The course will replace a comparative cultures course that includes a segment on the Middle East, Taylor told the board on Tuesday.
“We’re getting a lot of feedback from colleges that our course should go deeper (in terms of subject matter), not wider,” he said.
The comparative cultures course did not deal with the Middle East in depth and had seen low student enrollments, Taylor said. . .
Hamza Collins, the civil rights director with the Connecticut chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the school board’s action is encouraging.
“It’s a great thing,” Collins said. “Our group is trying to reach out to boards of education so that members of our organizations can talk with classes in schools about Islam.”