This is a short piece I found on Newsmax.
Texas Schools to Make Arabic Mandatory
Officials with the Mansfield, Texas, school district plan to make it mandatory for students to study Arabic language and culture.
Arabic classes would be required at Cross Timbers Intermediate School and Kenneth Davis Elementary School as part of a five-year, $1.3 million grant awarded to the school district by the U.S. Department of Education.
The classes would be optional for students at two other schools in Mansfield, a city of about 42,000 south of Dallas-Ft. Worth.
The Department of Education has identified Arabic as a “language of the future.”
Some parents are upset that the school district disclosed plans to require the classes without any prior warning to parents.
There are also concerns about religion. “The school district doesn’t teach Christianity, so I don’t want them teaching Islam,” parent Baron Kane told a local CBS News affiliate. But Kheirieh Hannun, who was born in the Middle East and raised in the United States, said she hoped the classes would broaden the minds of parents as well as students.
So the question is, is this how cultural change begins? As a parent I would be extremely concerned that this has been made mandatory with no prior public input. Also as the one parent expressed concern over the possibility of this course containing any references to the muslim religion, since there is no teaching of Christianity in or other religions in this district.
I am not saying that Arabic as a language could not be a useful tool in a career choice of some children. Say, if they intend to work for the government or in businesses that work around the world. But why must we mandate any certain language? We already require foreign language classes. But why can’t the individual students with the input of their parents make the choice of which language would best benefit the individual student?
What if? Since this Arabic language course is mandatory, students decide to not take Spanish. Not that I am extremely happy with the influence that the immigration of large numbers of Spanish-speaking people are having on the nation, but let’s face it, Spanish in the near future will be far more important and useful to our new generations than Arabic.
One has to wonder what is behind this decision in Texas. Is this school district the home of a large number of Arabic speaking immigrants? Who is on the Board of Education that would have thought this a good idea? I’ll bet you that any who voted in favor of this won’t be there long.
So the next time you think that going to your local school board meeting isn’t important, think again. And clearly it does matter who gets elected to these boards.