Parents sue Maryland school for punishing their daughter with failing grades for her refusal to profess Islamic faith

John Kevin and Melissa Wood accuse La Plata High School in La Plata, Maryland of Islamic indoctrination(Thomas More Law Center)

Parents have filed a lawsuit against a Maryland public school and district for giving their daughter failing grades after she did not do assignments discussing Islam, believing that these violated her Christian beliefs.

John Kevin and Melissa Wood, through the Thomas More Law Center, filed a civil rights action lawsuit on Jan. 27 before a U.S. District Court against Charles County Public Schools, the Board of Education, and the principal and vice-principal of La Plata High School in La Plata, Maryland.

The parents objected to the alleged Islamic indoctrination and propaganda in their daughter's World History class.

According to the lawsuit, the district and school's "curriculum, practices, policies, actions, procedures, and customs promote the Islamic faith by requiring students to profess the five pillars of Islam."

It said the complaining parents "required the students in the 11th grade World History class, including C.W., to profess statements on the teachings and beliefs of Islam in written worksheets as graded homework assignments."

The whole class was taught that "most Muslim's faith is stronger than the average Christian."

The defendants' daughter was also required to profess the Shahada and declare "There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah."

"This statement is in direct contradiction to C.W.'s deep-seeded Christian beliefs and heritage that it is sinful to express that there is any other god but the monotheistic Christian God," the lawsuit read.

The parents accused the school of using two different textbooks for the World History class with the first one not containing a separate chapter devoted to Islam.

The second textbook, which the students are now allowed to bring home, contains additional sections on the Islamic religion.

"Plaintiffs John and Melissa Wood objected to their minor child, C.W., being given religious instruction and being indoctrinated in Islam as part of her public high school education. Defendants never informed Plaintiffs of any 'opt-out' policy with regard to the World History course instruction in and promotion of Islam," the lawsuit stated.

When the father complained to the school about the assignment, Vice Principal Shannon Morris filed a complaint against him with the police, who told him that he was barred from school grounds and a no-trespass order was in force.

The school then gave his daughter zeroes on multiple assignments in the World History class as she refused to violate her faith.

"Defendants have treated plaintiffs' Christian beliefs and heritage with deliberate indifference, and have been hostile toward C.W. and her family," the lawsuit alleges.

The lawsuit alleges that the defendants violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments and Civil Rights Act.