Stepfather prevents his daughter from doing homework about converting to Islam

[Image: Metro]

An angry father has refused to let his 12-year-old stepdaughter complete her homework after she was asked to write a letter to her family about converting to Islam.

Mark McLachlan, 43, from Houghton-le-Spring near Sunderland, U.S., has criticised the decision by Kepier School to ask pupils to write this letter.

He has refused to let his stepdaughter, who cannot be named, complete the task after failing to see what the letter would accomplish.

Mr McLachlan said: “I know as part of the national curriculum they have to learn about all religions.

“I just don’t see why they should ask a child to write a letter addressed to their family about converting to another religion. I really just don’t see what the letter will gain.

“If they want children to learn about Islam, then go teach them all about it and its history.

“What I don’t want is a school asking my stepdaughter to look into reasons for converting to another religion.

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“Like every parent, it is our decision on how we raise them and once they are old enough to make decision, then it is their choice.”

Mark visited the school to raise his concerns and was told that this was part of the curriculum and was shown example exam questions for Islam, Christianity and Hinduism.

He said: “I have no problem with them learning about religions but I feel they should not be asking 12-year-olds to write to their parents about why they are converting. I just found the task wholly inappropriate.

“I would like to emphasise how much respect I have for the head of year and deputy head who were very receptive to my complaint and concerns but unfortunately in this instance the national curriculum has failed miserably in my opinion.”

School Principal Nicola Cooper said: “At Kepier we feel it is very important to introduce our learners to all faiths and cultures and we do this throughout the academic year. For example, next week we will be celebrating all faiths during National Interfaith Week.

“We welcomed Mr McLachlan into school earlier this week and were happy to explain to him how we explore all faiths and cultures.

“Our Culture and Wellbeing programme of study is in line with the National Curriculum and we believe it provides the basis for a broad, balanced and engaging introduction to the areas typically taught in RE and PSHCE.”

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