(SOUTHFIELD, MI, 10/1/09) – The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) said today that a Detroit-area school district has apologized for handing out permission slips for Bible study classes to elementary school students.
SEE: School District Says it Erred in Allowing Church Permission Slips
CAIR-MI sent a letter to Roseville Public Schools after receiving a complaint from two parents of children who attend Huron Park Elementary School about distribution by teachers of permission slips for the Bible classes at a local Baptist church.
To see the permission slip, go to: images/pdf/Roseville-Public-Schools.pdf
In his letter to the school district, CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid wrote in part:
“School staff and teachers are not to serve as advocates for one particular religion or congregation within a religion by passing out slips inviting parents to give permission for their children to attend religious instruction…According to the United States Supreme Court, the First Amendment clearly requires that public school students and their parents are never given the impression that their school/school district prefers a specific religion over others or sanctions religion in general.”
A school district official today apologized to CAIR-MI for the distribution of the permission slips and said district principals will discuss the issue at an upcoming meeting.
“We thank school district officials for taking quick and appropriate action once this violation of religious neutrality was brought to their attention,” said Walid.
He said CAIR offers a booklet, called “An Educator’s Guide to Islamic Religious Practices,” that is designed to help school officials provide a positive learning environment for students of all faiths.
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid, 248-842-1418, 248-559-2247, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787 or 202-341-4171, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org