Education: Public School:

My Beliefs in the Public School
Story of a 5th Grade Girl

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.

writer Ayesha Ali, 5th grade, New Jersey
( The Message International Jan. 1990, pg. 34. Published with permission)

Here is something
available now for you to read:
6 Step Guide to Get Religious Accomodation in the Public School System
Getting Involved in the Public School System is a Religious Obligation!
4 Tips for Parents on Dealing with Misinformation in Public School
Raising Muslim Children in the Public Schools : What Parents Need to Know
7 Tips for Muslim Students: How to Deal With Misinformation in the Classroom
Recent Experience with Urban School Choice Plans
Council on Islamic Education: A Profile
Religious Freedom in Public Schools : Laws You Need to Know About
A Sample Letter to the Teacher of your child for religious accomodation
A sample Thank You Letter to teacher on Religious Accomodation

How to work with Public School Teachers
Dawa in Public School: Some Guidelines

Getting the Most Out of Public School Education

Monitoring Public School Education
A 5th Grad Girl's Dawa Experience in School
Muslim School Vs Public School

Prom: Not Just One Night of Haram
Why I boycotted the Senior Prom? Dawud Wharnsby Ali
5 Prom Tips for Teens
8 Prom Tips for Parents
A Father-Daughter Tipsheet on Dealing with the Prom

Why Send Your Child to a Weekend School
Getting the Most Out of a Weekend School
Challenges of Weekend Islamic Schools

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