My beliefs in public school: The story of a fifth-grade girl

My beliefs in public school

At the start of the new school year a few months ago, I experienced something new at the school. It really made me happy and proud of my religion! That's why I want to share it with others.

In my school, one of the classes we have to take is music. In this class, all we really do is discuss the different kinds of music. But recently I faced a problem. The teacher brought in a record player and asked us to dance with other kids to the music. I knew I was not allowed to dance as a Muslim. But how was I going to explain this to the teacher? I would be embarrassed in front of all the kids, I thought.

I finally decided to write on a paper that I couldn't dance. Having written that, I gave it to the teacher before she could turn on the stereo. She said fine, and told me to sit down and do some other work. So for one day at least I didn't have to dance. But I knew I couldn't say this every day, and I had to do something. That day after school, I waited till my father got home from work and then I explained my problem to him. He was really glad that I didn't dance and to help me in the future he wrote a letter to my teacher explaining why it was not allowed for me to dance.

The next day I gave the note to my teacher and she was really surprised. After all, its not everyday that someone brings in a note like that. It also interested her. After the class she told me if she could have some books on Islam. Now that was a surprise for me. The next day I brought some books that my older brother had helped me pick out. After seeing the books she asked me to prepare a presentation on Islam for the class. She wanted me to explain to the class the basic teachings of Islam. I agreed.

My father helped me to write down things for the presentation. He told me to keep it short since I was going to explain only the basics. I was supposed to prepare it in one week. I couldn't wait for the week to end so I could read my little paper. Finally the day arrived. After I finished my presentation, I was asked a lot questions by the kids. They really liked it. The teacher also helped explain what I had read.

The teacher and the kids were really happy that I helped them to understand Islam. But most of all, I was happy because it gave me a chance to feel proud of my religion.

(From The Message International Jan. 1990, pg. 34. Published with permission)
 

Comments

I was very proud of her that she stood up for her beliefs, and that her father wrote a letter explaining why she could not dance.

Location

Elkins Park

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