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Why a Marine dad was banned from his daughter's school for objecting to Islam essay

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(AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

(Read caption) Muslim pilgrims circle the Kaaba, the black cube at center, inside the Grand Mosque during the annual pilgrimage, known as the hajj, in the Muslim holy city of Mecca.

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A Maryland high school student's father has been banned from her school's grounds after objecting to a portion of her history curriculum involving Islam.

Kevin Wood, who is a US Marine, contacted La Plata High School officials after his 11th grade daughter was assigned a three-page essay about Islam’s five pillars, Mecca, and Mohammed.

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He asked that his daughter be excused from her world history class for the duration of the unit covering Islam, arguing that students can’t study Christianity in schools "but we can force-feed our kids Islam," according to Fox Insider.

Students are required to pass world history as a graduation requirement, and part of the course involves studying Middle Eastern culture. School officials point out that students learn aspects of other religions as well, including Christianity when studying the Renaissance era, and Hinduism and Buddhism when studying India and China.

Vice principal Shannon Morris and principal Evelyn Arnold reported Wood threatened to upset the school environment, school spokeswoman Katie O’Malley-Simpson told SoMdNews, and he was subsequently issued a no-trespass order.

“We don’t take that lightly,” said O’Malley-Simpson. “We have a lot of students, and safety comes first. We don’t allow disruptions at the schools, especially if we’re forewarned of them.”

Wood, a former corporal with the US Marine Corps, originally spoke with an administrative assistant who said she would look in to the possibility of an alternative assignment. Morris then followed up to inform the family that there would be no alternative and their daughter would receive a failing grade if she didn't complete the assignment.

“If [students] can’t practice Christianity in school, they should not be allowed to practice Islam in school,” Wood, who identified himself as Catholic, told SoMdNews.

He denied issuing any threats or that he had planned to show up at the La Planta campus, but said he criticized the school for violating his daughter's constitutional rights.

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The family said she will be taking a zero on the assignment.

A week earlier, some Massachusetts parents were also upset about their children being taught about the Muslim religion in school.

"No religion should be taught at school. In their paper it says Allah is their only God. That's insulting to me as a Christian who believes in just Jesus only," Anthony Giannino, who pulled his son out of a Revere classroom, told WHDH, referring to a line of the text which reads: "I bear witness that there is no God but Allah."

"We don't believe in Allah. I don't believe in my son learning about this here," he said. "If my son was from another country and came here, he would have been catered to. But where he's not being catered to, they give him an F."

In a letter to the boy's parents, the superintendent of Revere Public Schools said it is part of the history in that section of the curriculum and that there was no intention of converting students.

Giannino said the school should inform parents that students are going to learn about the religion, and that we was starting a petition.