Principal reassigned over Islam presentation

FRIENDSWOOD, Texas — A junior high school principal who allowed a group to make a presentation about Islam to students is no longer on the job. Robin Lowe “has accepted another administrative position effective immediately,” the school district said in a statement late Wednesday.

Lowe was the principal of Friendswood Junior High when the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Houston gave a presentation described as “Islam 101” to about 875 seventh- and eighth-grade students last month, the district said.

Council president Tarek Hussein said he contacted Lowe about the educational presentation after hearing from a father who said his son was physically attacked at the school because he is Muslim. Since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Muslim students often get teased and called terrorists, Hussein pointed out. But community members and parents of children at the predominantly Anglo and Christian school complained about the assembly.

David Bradley, a member of the State Board of Education whose district includes Friendswood, said parents have been contacting him to express outrage about the presentation. He said an assembly about Islam was a waste of tax dollars and was not an appropriate response to an attack on a student.

“There’s a personal incident between two students and as a result of that we’re going to yank everyone out of class?” he said. “I got beat up in junior high. Did my dad go down and force all the kids to sit through sensitivity training in their P.E. class? No, that’s absurd. The coach gave us licks and sent us home. That was the end of those incidents.”

Houston Chronicle, 4 June 2008

Update:  See “R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Religious persecution, not lessons in tolerance and diversity, should spark outrage”, Houston Chronicle, 7  June 2008

And “Friendswood principal backed in Islam flap”, Houston Chronicle, 10 June 2008