A central Virginia school district has canceled classes Friday after concerns over the “tone and content” of calls and emails received about a lesson in Arabic calligraphy.
Augusta County Public Schools, near Staunton in central Virginia, will be closed after the district received “voluminous phone calls and electronic mail locally and from outside the area” about a high school World Geography class lesson, the district announced Thursday evening.
“The students were presented with the statement to demonstrate the complex artistry of the written language used in the Middle East, and were asked to attempt to copy it in order to give the students an idea of the artistic complexity of the calligraphy,” a statement Bond gave the paper said.
The statement was not translated into English, and students were not asked to “translate it, recite it or otherwise adopt or pronounce it as a personal belief,” Bond said.
A parent organized a forum Tuesday night about the lesson, calling it “indoctrination” in Islam, The News Leader reported.
Since then, the school system has received so many calls and emails that Sheriff Randall Fisher advised schools to close, the statement from the district said.