School receives backlash after student field trip to mosque - WKRN News 2

School receives backlash after student field trip to mosque

Posted: Updated: Sep 18, 2013 10:44 PM

A Sumner County high school has overhauled its field trip policy after receiving backlash from some parents whose kids were taken to an area mosque.  

Two weeks ago, students of Hendersonville High School's honors World Studies elective class, visited both a mosque and a Hindu temple as part of the three-week course of world religions.

Students who elected not to go had to write an essay comparing the religions.

However, some parents were outraged that the trip did not include stops at a Christian church or a Jewish synagogue for a better understanding of each religion.  

Following the backlash, Sumner County Schools spokesman Jeremy Johnson released a statement which said, in part, "After receiving a parent complaint regarding field trip locations, our district has reviewed the practice and decided to eliminate field trips to religious venues from this class, as it does not provide equal representation to all the religions studied in the course unit."

It continued, "This decision was made due to the fact that equal representation in regards to field trips for all religions studied in the course is not feasible. Per our district policy, the student who requested to not participate in the field trip was given a suitable alternative assignment that was agreed upon by both the teacher and parent."

School officials said the honors class has been offered at the high school for the past 10 years.

News 2 talked to some students who feel the fallout from the controversial field trip was blown out of proportion, and they are upset the school decided to end the field trip portion of the course for future students.

"It's unfortunate, but now that it's here, it's turned into something it's really not," one student said.

Former student Miller Kampa added, "That class is designed to really expand kids' outreach and what they know. So, as a parent, I wouldn't be upset if my kid learned more about a different religion. I'd be upset if they learned the same thing over and over and over again."

School officials said going forward in the future, similar field trips will not be allowed.

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