Despite our best efforts, it seems Islamism has finally managed to worm its way into East Texas. These small towns dotting the eastern forests, lands heretofore known simply for Friday Night Lights and Christian piety -- the kinds of places that make up Real America, don'tcha know -- have finally turned into the front line in the fight to keep Islam at bay.
Blame it on porous borders. Blame it on B. Hussein. Blame it on a lapdog media. (Hi!) Wherever the fault may lie, the fact remains: High school students in East Texas (and beyond?!?) have been receiving exposure to the second-largest religion in the world, and have -- oh, no, don'tcha know! -- volunteered to spend a single part of a single class trying on a burqa.
The horror, guys. The ignominy. The bare temerity of a school, in a geography class, to offer the garb of a region, and to ask students if anyone would like to try it on for a moment.
Now, it may seem like I'm feigning outrage, but I assure you: Had I my own children, and had my children decided, of their own volition, to try on a piece of cloth representing a land as foreign to East Texas as barbecue is to Yakutia, well, I'd be far too cross to simply hammer out a blog post faking such an affront.
Fortunately, while most Lamestream Media personnel were off snoozing over their personal Quran's, Fox News hopped on the case, taking a peek behind this Scarf Scandal. Detailing the fact that five ninth-graders at Lumberton High School had opted to wear the Arab gear a teacher had brought to a geography course, Fox and Friends's hostess Gretchen Carlson decided to detail the pursuant horrors.
Interviewing one of the students in the photo, Madelyn LeBlanc, as well as Madelyn's mother, April, Carlson takes the viewer through the process of how the students voluntarily found themselves wearing the attire. April, who discovered the photo of her daughter on Facebook, reiterates the fact that her daughter had opted to wear the attire of her own volition, plastering her anger on what -- oh, man, don'tcha just know -- actually took place.
As a secondary complaint, April buttressed her entirely pointless outrage with the fact that her daughter had received lessons in which foreign terrorists were considered "freedom fighters." (Specifically, according to April, within the "Nation of Islam" -- Malcolm X as a terrorist?) After noting her surprise, Carlson responds with a a one-off about schools being disallowed from teaching Christianity in school.
But at the risk of repetition -- seriously, do they not know? -- Carlson and LesBlancs had just admitted that nothing doctrinal, nothing coercive, was forced. None of these Islamic tenets were being taught as writ. There was no lesson on the rectitude of the hajj, or the necessity of alms-giving, or the idea that Allah exists, let alone reigns. Just as Texas public schools have every right to examine the linguistic-cultural merits of the Bible, or of the historical context of the Talmud, they have every right to examine the structure and literary substance of the Quran. (The fact that this discrepancy failed to catch Carlson's attention is, unfortunately, unsurprising.)
As it is, Lumberton Independent School District released a statement Wednesday, reiterating the pointlessness of this outrage: "Our goal is to educate students to be aware of this global society and the accolades and dangers that exist; as well as, excelling in the adopted curriculum. The school district is continuously evaluating the curriculum to make sure we stay abreast of best practices and to use the most efficient and effective methods to teach our students."
In addition, the school pointed to the numerous Christian clubs allowed on campus, as well as the fact that a literary quote alone prompted a discourse on the delineations between "terrorist" and "freedom fighter."
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
"The students enjoy their teacher, and are shocked that all this has been misconstrued, that what's in the public isn't what she taught," said LISD Assistant Superintendent Gerald Chandler. "They are supporting her tremendously."
But this ordeal seems far from concluded. Fox has attempted to tie this ordeal to the CSCOPE curriculum, even though they're not related -- because this is an AP course, Chandler noted, the curriculum comes from College Board. Nonetheless, Fox is keen to bring up CSCOPE, which has made recent waves among conservative circles with rumored strains of anti-Americanism -- even having the temerity to show that some within the Boston Tea Party would have been considered "terrorists." (Which, from ol' King George's perspective: No shit.)
And while recent regulations from voucher-man Dan Patrick have rightly mandated more transparency from CSCOPE, there is an unfortunate claque -- with Carlson as its sounding board -- that seems to think that voluntarily, and momentarily, donning another culture's attire somehow indicts an entire curriculum, and that Islamism, despite our best intentions, has finally sunk itself into the heart of Real America. Or didn't you know?