Anti-Muslim movie played in Tarpon Springs High School class

TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. (WFLA) — The Pinellas County School District is looking into why a controversial, anti-Muslim propaganda film was played in a high school classroom.

A parent of a student at Tarpon Springs High school said his daughter told him she watched the movie, “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West,” in her sophomore history class on Wednesday.

The Council on American Islamic Relations says this film has no place in schools.

“This film is pure propaganda that is really used to demonize the Muslim religion by a group, the Clarion Project that was designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group,” said Thania Diaz Clevenger, the Civil Rights Dir. with CAIR.

Obsession was released in 2005.

It became a topic of discussion in 2008, when free copies were popping up in mail boxes across Florida around election time.

CAIR wants to know why the teacher would show the film.

“How you could use that in an educational setting, especially for someone as a high school student, kind of boggles our mind,” said Clevenger.

Parents were not informed the film would be played.

“We don’t teach our children hate, so I don’t think it’s a good thing to have in high school,” said Kerrie Ibarra.

District officials say they do not approve of the film being shown.

The school district released the following statement:

The video shown at Tarpon Springs High School is not a resource provided by the district to social studies teachers.

Pinellas County Schools has a process related to controversial materials. It is our practice to inform parents about controversial instructional materials and allow parents to determine if their child will participate or be given an alternate assignment.

An investigation will be conducted to determine why this video was shown and why parents were not notified. The principal will meet with students to make sure any concerns are addressed. The video will not be shown again.



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