Friday, June 29, 2012

Murfreesboro School Board Denial

Gary Fouse

In response to the accusations brought forth by Eric Allen Bell, the Murfreesboro School Board has issued the below statement in regards to communications with the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro.

Statement concerning student religious activities
June 27, 2012
A few concerned residents contacted Rutherford County Schools on June 27, 2012, after hearing a discussion on a Nashville radio station. No one from the school district heard the radio program directly and so exactly what was said cannot be confirmed.

However, the discussion apparently referenced students practicing religious activities at school with an accusation that the school district allowed some students but not others to exercise their religious rights.  Apparently, there also was a claim that the district had received a list of demands for Muslim students from the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro.

Rutherford County Schools is releasing this statement to hopefully address rumors concerning this topic.

First, the school district is not aware of anyone receiving any written communication directly from the Islamic Center. However, several principals have reported they received an e-mail from a person named Eric Bell that accuses the school district of receiving and disseminating information from the Islamic Center. Mr. Bell’s email does include an attached informational document from the Islamic Center. But again, this document was not received directly from the Islamic Center; it came from Mr. Bell.

However, the school district routinely receives informational literature about religions from various groups, including Christian, Jewish and legal organizations. Students of all religions are allowed to exercise their first amendment rights by practicing religious activities or participating in religious clubs at school as long as those activities are student-initiated.

 Below is the text of an e-mail reportedly sent to the school  board by Abdulrahman Kattih (mosque organizer) 

From: Abdoulrahman Kattih (E-mail address deleted)
 Sent: Thursday, September 04, 2008 11:54 PM
 To: Angel McCloud
 Subject: Follow up on the flyer

Dear Mrs. McCloud

 We spoke a couple of weeks ago about sending you an informative newsletter to
 distribute to the principles in the Rutherford county schools to tell them about
 the Muslim students in the area, the newsletter has some information to help
better understand and deal with the Muslim students.
We estimate that there are over 300 Muslim students in the county and we are
 looking forward to working with the Rutherford county Board of education to help; integrate them better and be understood better in the schools they attend.

We are hoping to forward the attached flyer to the principles and ask if they
 may share with the teacher when needed. We will be delighted to provide printed
 copies if needed.

Please feel free to email or call me with any questions.

 Abdou Kattih
 (phone number deleted)

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