Religion

VA Principal Removes Math Question From Test That Used The Word Jihad As A Character's Name

| by Dominic Kelly

After parents expressed their outrage over the use of the name Jihad in a math problem on a recent test, a Virginia elementary school’s principal has decided to pull the question from future exams.

Beaverdam Elementary School Principal Chip Joseph received complaints after students were given the question on a math test. The question was reportedly created by an area teacher years ago, likely before the word was widely known and generally associated with radical Islamic terrorism, and the question was used on the math test. Jihad was used as a person’s name on the math test and in no way claimed association with terrorism or Islam, but when Hanover, Virginia resident Tom White wrote about the story on his right wing news website Virginia Right, parents were up in arms.

“This is nothing more than desensitization training to prepare the young minds for the ongoing pro-Islam education that is now being taught in Hanover schools,” wrote White in his report.

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Hanover resident Dale Taylor seems to agree with White’s sentiments, and at a recent school board meeting, he handed out copies of the question for people to read. Taylor argued that the use of the word jihad as a character’s name was inappropriate, as the word itself is used in radical Islam to refer to a “holy war” against those who aren’t Muslims.

“I believe this is a very subtle desensitization of impressionable young minds,” said Taylor.

Now, Principal Joseph has decided to remove the question altogether, but he is offering a sobering explanation as to why the word was used as a character’s name to begin with.

“I have found that the math problem in question was, indeed, a problem that had been cut and pasted from a bank of questions that had been created by various teachers in the county,” Joseph wrote in an email statement to White. “As is often the case, teachers use student names when creating questions and the name ‘Jihad’ was the actual name of a former Hanover student. Since the name was embedded in a chart, I am sure the teacher did not catch it as she would be focusing on the quality of the problem itself. Once this was brought to our attention, the name was removed from the problem not only in our building but on the bank of questions so that this would not occur again in any other building in Hanover.”

Sources: Times Dispatch, Virginia Right / Photo Sources: Virginia Right, Flickr