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WICHITA, Kansas – Wichita Public Schools is responding to a Facebook post of a bulletin board that went viral.
The bulletin board that caused concern was at Minneha Core Knowledge Magnet school and shows The Five Pillars of Islam. School officials took it down after it caused an uproar on social media.
In a statement, the district said “a photo taken of a bulletin board without context is misleading, and some have taken it out of context without having all the information. ”
USD 259 says Minneha students learn about the five major religions of the world – Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam as part of their Core Knowledge magnet curriculum.
The district says students study civilizations throughout time, throughout the world, and cover religion with a focus on the history and geography in the development of civilizations.
Reaction to the bulletin board from parents outside Minneha Monday afternoon was mixed.
“As far as religion goes, I would hope a school wouldn’t push religion on children, but as far as teaching different cultures, I don’t see a problem with that at all,” Michelle Svetecz said.
“It’s really hard to say because I know there’s a lot of other religions out there other than just Christianity,” Kayla Wallace said. “I just feel like bringing it into a school, I’m not comfortable with it.”
The district says the purpose is not to explore the matters of theology, but to understand the place of religion and religious ideas in history.
USD 259 says the students at Minneha have received the lessons for years as part of their curriculum.
The district says because of the misunderstanding that has been promoted by the photograph, the bulletin board has been taken down until the unit is taught later this fall.