Learning from Mansfield Independent School District

Mansfield Independent School District hit the spotlight in a big way this week. The small district outside of the Dallas/Fort Worth area is one of five recipients of a Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP) grant to teach the Arabic language from the Department of Education. According to the federal government, Arabic is a “critical language.” Parents and residents caused an uproar regarding the mandatory instruction in specific grade levels. Mansfield ISD denies the mandatory instruction yet, “As part of language acquisition and development, the early grades would have elements of Arabic language within the framework of the state-mandated curriculum.”[1] Regardless of the explanation, elements of the Arabic language and culture will be taught to all children. This is both alarming and disappointing to me.

I have some thoughts about this Arabic FLAP grant:

  • It is difficult, if not nearly impossible, to teach modern Arabic without the inclusion of Islam’s teachings. If we are going to tout the Church and State argument every time a Christian group wants to meet on a campus or when the proponents of Judeo-Christian ethics, beliefs, or creationist’s promote their theories and positions, Islam should be treated in the same fashion. What’s fair is fair, right? Christians must take a stand against the inclusion of Islamic teachings in our public schools. With large Islamic populations in both the Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth areas, Christians must remain vigilant to the ever-increasing attempts to promote Islam through mainstreaming opportunities.
  • Then there is the whole fiscal policy discussion. When the federal government is going bankrupt and leading us down a path to national insolvency, how can we dish out millions of dollars in language grants? This is a fiscal responsibility issue. We need a balanced budget NOW! Stop spending money you don’t have! We’re cutting basic instruction, but adding in Arabic language and culture studies? Federal spending is out of control! Somewhere at sometime someone needs to stand up and say enough! These are the programs that must be eliminated from our budgets. We can’t afford them either financially or intellectually. I vote for eliminating half of the bureaucracy in the Department of Education today; education is a state right!
  • Hooray for the parents in the Mansfield ISD. Had you not spoken up, the original curriculum outline would have made it to your classrooms. Because of your awareness and involvement, you significantly curtailed the program’s influence. Don’t give up yet, there’s still much to be done.

As an educated person, I promote giving kids varied opportunities to learn. Learning about various cultures, languages, and historical movements is important. When it comes to Islam, I am very aware and knowledgeable regarding the tactics and motives to promote tolerance towards Islam. When you know what I know, you understand Islam’s agenda. You must be wise. I find it appalling that we’d even consider teaching Islam under the guise of an Arabic language and culture curriculum in our schools. I wonder how many followers of Allah work in the Department of Education?