Islam Poster At Springfield High Sparks Strong Community Reaction

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Smokey Barn News, August 14, 2013 Springfield, TN

A poster made by a student at Springfield High School (located in Robertson County TN) and placed on the wall in a classroom has sparked a strong reaction from the community. The poster said to depict the  “the five pillars of Islam” was part of a history class research project. The reaction from the community was fast and strong. Smokey received many emails, private messages and even phone calls from concerned citizens that were worried that a permanent marker had been placed in the school. The Robertson County School board received enough inquiries that they released the following statement;

From Robertson County Director of Schools Mike Davis

RC SCHOOLS“The poster entitled “the five pillars of Islam” was a student’s work as part of a WORLD GEOGRAPHY class in which the students did class projects while studying the Asian/Arab countries located in the Middle East.  The teacher covers all regions of the world in the course and the students learn about the culture, economy, climate and religions of each of the countries they study.  The school system is not endorsing any religion of any region and this is simply a student’s project while learning about these Asian/Arab countries.  Someone took a picture of this one poster and has tried to imply that the school is promoting Islam, which is totally false.”

So it would seem that Inaccurate information on the posters location and the total number of them caused the communities reaction. Rumors on the Internet indicated there were many posters placed up and down the halls of the school as some kind of a permanent marker. By the schools statement there would have been just a few posters inside of a classroom.

UPDATE Smokey Barn News, August 16, 2013

Smokey has acquired several photos of the posters in question from a source wishing anonymity. Smokey has confirmed the legitimacy and authenticity of the photos and believe they are accurate and correct.  We have also had a reasonable look at the entire room the posters are in,  what we saw lined up with the schools depiction of the room with the exception that there were many more general historically based posters on the walls of the room then we originally understood. The posters covered the gamut,  the room did have the posters depicting “the five pillars of Islam” but also posters on “Proud to be an American”,  Asian, Australian and New Zealand historical timelines and an american fag made from pictures from the 911 terrorist attacks.

Out of the entire room full of posters about 6 covered the basic tenets of Islam. Smokey also learned that all of the artwork in the room was from last year 2012, they were not new posters but posters left over from the end of last year.  

Below is a photo of the same poster that was propagated on the Internet and caused the initial stir. The second photo shows the group of posters as they appeared on the wall of the classroom during a recent open house.  To protect the identities of the students we have decided not to release all of the photos of the posters and we have pixelated the group photo, but all six posters were all relatively similar in their depiction of the basic tenets of Islam.

After realizing that the posters had actually been on the wall since the end of the last school year, I ask Robertson County Schools if they would address why the posters had not been removed and/or why they were left up so long. Below the two photos of the posters is an additional release from Robertson County Schools addressing that question.

Pic1 posters a fuzzy

 Robertson County Schools address posters………….

RC SCHOOLSWorld Geography is a course that studies climates, cultures, populations, politics economics, and religions of the world.

The posters remained in the classroom at the end of last year and were used by the teacher to explain to the students what their future projects might look like this coming school year. All posters remained in the classroom throughout the summer, as they do in many classes throughout the district.

We would like to reiterate the fact that these posters were student projects from last year’s world geography class, which followed the curriculum standards for studying various regions of the world.

We would also like to reiterate that neither the school system, the school, nor the teacher promote or endorse any religious faith discussed in this course.

———

Smokey will continue to investigate, if we find any new information we will provide it to you.

Jim Ball reporting

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Comments

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Latest Comments
  1. prsmama

    A most unfortunate spelling mistake in the last line of the fourth paragraph. (or is it talking about a marijuana cigarette?) Otherwise an informative article.

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  4. James Hanby

    Most of these posts are kind of funny last I checked we still give the kids off for Christmas and Easter and they don’t have school and rarely even school related events on Sunday. So I don’t think the christian faith has been entirely pushed out of the schools. As for whether there should be a complete separation I don’t think so as it certainly makes one well rounded to examine other cultures. If we are secure in raising our children by what we teach them in church and at home we shouldn’t be afraid of what they are taught in schools. And for those that believe there should be a complete separation of church and state, Christmas is on a Wednesday this year, feel free to show up for school and work, otherwise mind your own business.

  5. Rain Williams

    Also Louise Layne is the biggest racist of Robertson County. I am almost certain that she hasn’t read the Koran herself, she simply post and repost what those of the tea party put in print. Perhaps if she was introduced to more cultures she wouldn’t be so damn hateful and bitter for an old lady

  6. Rain Williams

    Its blows my mind that in 2013 residents of Robertson County think that children will not learn about Islam or other religions. You cannot get a higher education anywhere without learning the basics of a religion that encompasses the majority of people across the world. This whole debate shows why Robertson County is behind every other county that surrounds Davidson County. Your children can learn about other religions and cultures and still be fine Christians.

  7. Turd Ferguson

    Warning: Wall of Text ahead.

    Am I the only person who thinks it is highly unlikely that the teacher covers all the religions of the world? There are literally thousands of religions.

    On a side note, for anyone who thinks christians are persecuted, do you not realize that Tennessee is in the bible belt? You know what that means, right? That’s referring to the christian bible. Let me know when you’re outnumbered 100 to 1 like non-christians are in this area, then you can claim persecution. Till then it’s just whining.

    @George Drury: whenever your comment includes the phrase “Hitler had right idea” it tells people two things. First, you have bad grammar. Second, you’d be a dangerous man if anyone ever gave you any real power. Luckily you’re unemployed, and thus, powerless.

    @Joshua Meade: I think you’re going for sarcasm when you say that the vast majority of muslim’s don’t murder, rape, pillage, etc., but you are correct. Just like the vast majority of christians don’t do those things. Your second comment misses the mark, I believe because you misread the comment you were responding to. Your third comment simply exposes the full extent of your ignorance. “No one has ever been forced to pray.” Really? Think about that for a minute. Do you have any children? If they pray, I assume they do it because they woke up one morning at the ripe age of 5 and heard the word of god telling them to pray, and not because you told them to.

    @Elish Foley: Individual, silent prayer is, and always has been, allowed at public schools. And I have only heard of a few isolated cases of students being told to remove their “T” necklaces, all of which were mistakes, and the students were then allowed to wear the necklaces. Is that not enough? And you say “Some kids are still penalized for practicing their faith in school during non-school times.” Examples please? Or are you just making this up? Also, if it is during non-school times, why are they still at school? Just go to a christian church, there’s one on every corner.

    @Duane Moore: christianity is a threat to American freedoms and rights only if you consider non-christians as Americans. christian ideals and beliefs drive laws such as anti-abortion laws, gay marriage laws, and yes, even freedom of speech. In a perfect christian country anyone could talk about any religion they want, as long as it’s christianity.

    Here’s a final thought for any christians who might be upset about this scenario. Is your religion so weak and fragile that the slightest tiny exposure to another religion will cause it to crumble apart? Think about that for a while. If your religion can’t stand up to a poster on the wall drawn by a student for a class project…is it really worth standing up for?

    Oh, and for anyone still reading, you have probably already correctly assumed that I am not a christian by my refusal to capitalize the “c” in christian. You have probably incorrectly assumed that I support islam. I do not. I have equal disdain and dislike for all organized religion. It’s all superstitious nonsense, luckily on its way out the door.

    TL;DR christians aren’t persecuted (except in Egypt), islam is just as bad as (or worse than) christianity, and Hitler still wasn’t right.

  8. Jayne Colyer

    It is all over the internet that Springfield High School is promoting Islam http://bradleycountynews.wordpress.com/2013/08/09/tennessee-5-pillars-of-islam-replace-10-commandments-in-public-school-tolerance-reigns-supreme/

  9. ruserious

    @carolyn choate
    When you look you a country on Wikipedia it tells you the prominent religion of that area. So if the student was doing a project on an Arab nation then more than likely it’s going to be Islam.

  10. Jo Ann

    This reminds me why I should only believe about 5% of what I read online. There have been some cruel and hateful posts on other sites about this teacher and Springfield High School. Being a Christian, I am not offended by this poster or Islam being taught. It gives me a chance to talk with my children about our own faith and others as well. Maybe others should look at this as a teachable moment as well. I doubt that will happen. Most people would rather jump on the band wagon and overreact about some half truth. To each his own. By the way, this teacher is a Christian and is not proselytizing Islam.

  11. Jill Reeves

    Thank you, Smokey, for reporting that rumors based on inaccurate information about the number of posters, where they were hung in the school,, and the nature of the assignment were false and amounted to…gossip.

  12. Carolyn Choate

    Okay, it was an assignment but answer me this. What in the world does Islam have to do with World Geography??

    • Jo Ann

      The same reason they teach the solar system in world geography now. We learned about the solar system in science class.

  13. Trisha Crutcher

    It’s just another way for people to say Springfield High is a bad school. I’m a senior this year at SHS and no, posters were not posted up and down the hallways. It’s a poster made by a student in a world geography classroom. How are you supposed to learn about different religions on EOC’s if you can’t even do projects on them?

  14. Jay Swafford

    Smokey…I think your statement:

    “So it would seem that Inaccurate information on the posters location and the the number of them caused the communities reaction. Rumors on the Internet indicated…”

    sums it up so well…

    Rumors, & ignorant, mis-informed people will always over-react & most times over react with fear & hate.

    Just sayin’