Parents of students at a Texas high school are outraged after discovering their children have been encouraged to dress in Islamic clothing and taught to refer to the 9/11 hijackers not as terrorists but as 'freedom fighters.'
Students in a Lumberton High School geography class were also told to stop referring to the Holocaust as Genocide and were instead told to use the term 'ethnic cleansing.'
A photograph of five female students wearing burqas surfaced on Facebook, sparking an angry outburst from the mother of one of the girls.
April LeBlanc, whose 15-year-old daughter Madelyn is one of the students in the photograph, has accused the school of 'saturating these kids in Islam' and said many parents in the district felt betrayed by school officials.
'My biggest thing is not the burqa,' she told Fox News. 'That was the key to opening up the rest. It's scary how far they dove into the Islamic faith. It's scary what they taught my daughter. Who's in charge of this? How did our superintendent let this slip through the cracks?'
LeBlanc said the students were told that they could no longer use the terms suicide bomber or terrorist. Instead, they were instructed to use the words 'freedom fighters.'
State Sen. Dan Patrick has also spoken out against the incident. He said he was very disturbed by the photograph and was also investigating reports that the students were forced to write an essay based on an article in The Washington Post that blamed Egypt's turmoil on democracy rather than the Muslim Brotherhood.
'Parents are very sensitive to any issue that seems to be anti-American - that blames democracy for some sort of trouble in the world,' he told Fox.
The superintendent of the Lumberton Independent School District has spoken out to say he doesn't think the teacher has done anything wrong.
John Valastro denied that the teacher was trying to radicalize students and was simply following state teaching guidelines.
'What is more dangerous - fear and ignorance or education and understanding,' he asked. 'From our standpoint, we are here to educate the kids.'
Valastro said it was important for students to understand context.
'We might see it as terrorism, but from the Islamic side they might call it jihadist or freedom fighter,' he said.
One of the students in the burqa photo, Madelyn LeBlanc, has said she has some sympathy for her geography teacher.
She believes the teacher didn't want to teach this particular unit but had to because it was in the curriculum. During the lesson about the Holocaust, the teacher reportedly told the students that she was supposed to be 'politically correct' when teaching about the tragedy and call it ethnic cleansing.
'I do have a lot of sympathy for her,' the 15-year-old said. 'At the very beginning she said she didn't want to teach it but it was in the curriculum.'
Her mother however has said that she and other parents feel betrayed by the school.
'We trusted these people,' she told Fox. 'It scares me. I feel like our school is being infiltrated. How can this not be a sign? We're talking about Lumberton, Texas. We're talking about a small town with Christian churches on every street corner. Right in our small school this is going on.'