NASHVILLE, TN (WJHL) – Representatives Matthew Hill, Timothy Hill and Micah Van Huss announced Wednesday that they have filed legislation to stop Islamic religious indoctrination in Tennessee schools.
According to a news release received from Rep. Matthew Hill’s office, the decision to file legislation came after public public outcry from parents, students and school administrators.
In 2015, middle school parents in Maury County were up in arms after learning their children were being instructed to recite and write “Allah is the only god” as part of a world history project. In another section of their work, students were assigned a Five Pillars of Islam project that included the translation of the pillar of “Shahada” as being, “There is no god but Allah; Muhammad is his prophet.” Similar situations have been reported across the state, including multiple instances in the tri-cities area.
Under the newly filed House Bill 1905, any inclusion of religion in textbooks, instructional materials, curriculum, or academic standards can only be for educational purposes and are strictly prohibited from being used to promote or establish any religion or religious belief.
In addition, the legislation places into law several key measures that constituents have requested from their legislators, including:
- Requiring local school boards to adopt a policy regarding the appropriate inclusion of religion in local curriculum and instructional materials, with the opportunity for public comment before adoption;
- Requiring local education agencies to make publicly available a syllabus for all grade six through twelve social studies, science, math, and English courses. The syllabus must include a course calendar detailing standards, objectives, and topics covered, major assignments required, and procedures for parents to have access to all instructional materials to be used;
- Requiring the state board of education to initiate a revision process for the Tennessee social studies standards adopted in 2013 to ensure new standards do not promote religion and do not amount to indoctrination or proselytism in any way.