You know, maybe instead of dreading the Big One – the major earthquake scientists predict will one day split California away from the rest of the United States – we should just go ahead and take matters into our own hands. Because it’s increasingly clear that what happens in California should most definitely stay in California. Unfortunately, just the opposite happens. What happens there inevitably contaminates the rest of us.
In Huntington Beach last week, a teacher at Spring View Middle School had her students memorize a bastardized version of the pop hit, “Fight Song,” which you have probably heard in dozens of TV promotions and commercials, if not the radio. But it wasn’t the teacher’s instructional methods that parents had a problem with: it was the lyrics themselves.
The song was assigned as a way for students to further their understanding of Islam, which they were studying in world history class. The lyrics went a little something like this – hit it!:
Like a sandstorm in the desert
Sending camels into motion,
Like how a single faith
Can make a heart open
They might only have one god,
But they can make an explosion.
And all those things they have to say
Islam … Allah’s on the way
They will preach them loud tonight
Can you hear their voice this time?
This is their fight song
Spread Islam now song
Prove that they’re right song
What’s funny is that, looking at the lyrics in isolation, you could almost see where Muslims would be just as upset as anyone else. The “but they can make an explosion” line is almost directly from the original, but of all the lines to keep in there! It would be interesting to hear the teacher’s logic on that one. Unless her logic was to teach the full meaning of Islam to her students. But we would know that, because she would have been fired.
The school district apologized to parents, insisting that the lesson occurred prior to the tragic terrorist attacks in Paris last Friday. “It was not the intention of the teacher to incite anger or offend,” said the district superintendent.
Well, first of all, what difference does it make if it took place before or after the attacks? Were these the first Islamic terror attacks in history? Secondly, it’s not enough to know what the teacher’s intentions were not. We should probably find out what they were. Memorization, they say. But then, why is it important for 7th graders to memorize any of this garbage? What facts are present in the lyrics?
“I believe that by singing this song, the children feel comfortable believing that maybe Allah is the only God and maybe that they should start following him,” one outraged mother said in an interview. “And that I’m not OK with.”
And that does, indeed, seem to be the only rational justification for this song. And if it is the school district’s contention that the song is in alignment with the standards, then we can see that it’s not the song that is the problem, nor the teacher. It is the standards.
Maybe before we embark on another education spending spree, we should make some firm decisions about what our children should and should not be learning.