A Tennessee man spoke out against his granddaughter’s school district last month regarding a mandatory world religions class.
Pastor Herb Mays, a Vietnam veteran, vocalized his discontentment about the seventh grade social studies curriculum at Westmoreland Middle School. The course teaches students about world religions, including holy books like the Quran.
Mays said he does not approve of the coursework because it instructs children about Islam.
"We don't teach the Bible, we can't carry the Bible anymore to school, we can't pray in school, so I'm upset that the seventh-grade social studies class is learning about the Quran," Mays told Fox San Antonio.
After discovering the content of his granddaughter’s social studies class, Mays said he immediately pulled her out of school.
"It says Allah is the creator. He's the god who created us all," Mays said. "I don't believe Allah created the heavens and the earth, so I have a problem with this being taught to children in school."
According to the State of Tennessee website, seventh grade social studies standards include teaching students about the Islamic world from around the year 400 to the 1500s.
Standards include students' "tracing the origins of Islam and the life and teachings of Muhammad, including Islam’s historical connections to Judaism and Christianity."
“We had to learn the five pillars of Islam and their beliefs and practices and what they have to do and all what they believe in," Mays' 13-year-old granddaughter said.
She added that she felt uncomfortable learning about Islam because she was unfamiliar with its beliefs and traditions.
“It just made me feel it wasn't right doing all this stuff and learning what they believe because it's not what I know and it just didn't feel right,” she said.
State representatives said it is required for schools to teach world religions in the seventh grade, but individual districts decide which books students read and the duration spent on a single topic.