Forum (Daily Southtown) Daily Southtown (local paper) hat tip Dave
September 29, 2007
Let me remind the good folks at the Oak Lawn school district as well as our Muslim friends that this is America that you are living in, land of the free.
You are free to send your children to a private school. If we are not supposed to celebrate our Christian values then how can you force us to learn about Muslim values? How can you deny your children the fun of Santa showing up at school or dressing up for Halloween. By the way, what does Halloween have to do with being Muslim or Christian? It's just another group trying to mold America into what they think America should be.
You miss the point. America is a delicate blend of cultures seasoned with love and acceptance. If you add too much salt, you ruin the stew. Leave the pot alone, or cook in a different kitchen!
As for pork and jello being served at school lunches, can you just send a lunch to school with your child? We are a low income family, (but) I do not accept free lunches for my child; I brown-bag her lunches every day. I am in control of what she puts into her body. I understand that it is against the Muslim faith to eat pork, but it is not against my religion nor the majority of the other children sharing the classrooms. So again, should the American people just change our thought and belief system because a few people demand that we do? I don't think so.
Let me start out by saying I'm an American who has lived 44 of my 55 years here in School District 122 in Oak Lawn. I am not writing this to start turmoil but to express my personal views which I believe a majority of people in this district also believe.
I was brought up in America, which was built on Christian morals and freedom of choice. You didn't have to belong to any special religion or organizations. No one tried to force their beliefs upon you. We all had our own beliefs and enjoyed them.
For the most part, we all celebrated holidays with no one being forced to participate if you chose not to. If you wanted more religion or had extra needs, you could send your children to parochial or other private schools. My children have gone to both public and private schools.
Until about five years ago, we enjoyed our American freedoms. Now we must change our lunch programs, our holidays, and our methods of teaching.
Classes are held back because numerous students don't speak English. Much time is spent trying to keep them well-informed. Speaking and understanding English is part of being an American. This should be the priority before their education starts. Holding back the other children while you try to teach those who can't understand just robs our children of their education.
As far as changing food, why? When my children went to school, I told them what to eat or not eat. In our situation, it was no meat on Fridays. This meant my children had cheese pizza or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I didn't go in screaming at the school board "no meat on Fridays" because we all had rights, and everyone had a choice.
Now a selected few have decided everything should be their way and only their way. The school seems to be caving in to these selected few and leaving the rest of us on the outside looking in. The idea of coming to America is for a new life with all the freedoms we have enjoyed. This is what makes the new and better life for their families.
We all have beliefs and family traditions. Some are shared, and some stay in the privacy of our homes. We don't force our ideals on anyone who doesn't want to be involved. That's because up until now, we all had the choice!
Let's stop these selected few who have come to District 122 and are determined to destroy the great system I have observed for more than 40 years. If you take away the freedom our forefathers won for us, that certainly is not American or fair. I'm for change as much as the next guy, but change comes from agreeing on issues that don't take away our freedoms.
I think it's time for the newcomers to realize America is freedom. Our freedoms happen to be enjoying our holidays, eating our foods and getting a good education in the manner it was meant to be taught.