A Marine veteran says he has been banned from his daughter’s school campus for more than a year after raising objections to school lessons about Islam.
John Kevin Wood says he was given a no-trespass order by his daughter’s school after objecting to a school assignment that required his daughter to memorize the Five Pillars of Islam. The assignment also required students to recite the shahada, known as the Muslim statement of faith, which includes, “There is no God but Allah.”
Wood is now asking a judge for help because his daughter’s school is preventing him from attending her graduation.
“She’s in the final semester of her senior year, and as it stands right now, she’s going to have to go through that life experience without her dad there,” Kate Oliveri, a lawyer representing Wood, said.
The dispute over the assignment began in October 2014, when Wood’s daughter was given the assignment in her 11th grade World History class at La Plata High School in Charles County, Maryland. The assignment allegedly says that Muslims’ faith is “stronger than the average Christian.”
The assignment also reportedly taught that Islam is a “peaceful religion” and said that jihad is a “holy war waged on behalf of Islam as a religious duty; a personal struggle in devotion to Islam especially involving spiritual discipline.”
Wood called the school to ask for an alternative assignment for his daughter, citing his objection to the lesson. The school says he made “verbal threats against the school” and had a restraining order put in place, reports Fox News.
Wood, a Marine veteran who lost friends in Operation Desert Storm in the Arabian Gulf in the early 1990s, says that he never threatened the school or anybody on the school’s staff.
Wood and his wife, Melissa, sued the school district in January 2016, saying the lesson violated his daughter’s constitutional rights.