Fife Lake Elementary School Responds to Concerns Over Controversial Lesson

A lesson at a local elementary school that taught students about world religions is getting heat from some parents.

Those parents say religious lessons have no place in a public school, but the school defends the lessons.

First grade teachers at Fife Lake Elementary taught the lesson on early world civilizations that sparked controversy.

“It was historically accurate information that was presented in that first grade classroom,” says principal, Josh Rothwell.

Angry parents recently took to Facebook about a controversial lesson in a Fife Lake Elementary classroom.

“We’ve received a few calls just because when they brought up the term Islam,” says Rothwell. “It’s early world civilization unit in or first grade classroom. So we had studied briefly Judaism, Christianity and Islam.”

The unit focuses on world history, but the lesson still caused quite a stir.

“It’s extremely basic. It’s the teacher basically talks about Christianity, Judaism and Islam at a very basic level. Very basic facts are portrayed to the students,” Rothwell says. “We are not preaching religion or practicing religion in the first grade classrooms. It’s historically accurate information as it pertained to these early world civilizations.”

Carrie Adams grandchildren attend the elementary school, and while she encourages the lesson, she knows others who feel differently.

“I know a lot of people upset about this,” Adams says. “I’ve seen in the Facebook post that some people are going to pull their students out of the Forest Area Schools if they’re going to teach this. I think that’s wrong. I think children should learn a little bit about what’s going on in our nation.”

Principal Rothwell says his first grade teachers did send out a newsletter to parents before the lesson was taught.

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