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Mandatory Arabic Classes Planned For Some Texas Schools

posted on: Feb 8, 2011

A Texas school district is planning to make classes in Arabic and Arab culture mandatory for students in some schools.

Two Schools in the Mansfield Independent School District will incorporate Arabic culture into every aspect of the curriculum. Students in two other schools in the district will have the option to pursue similar studies.

The district was awarded a $1.3 million grant by the Department of Education last summer as part of the Foreign Language Assistance Program. The Department of Education has identified Arabic, along with Mandarin, as ‘languages of the future’ and the school district said that “students will be at an advantage in an increasingly diverse and economically global society.”

Some parents expressed concern at a meeting that took place on Monday night, saying that they had not been made aware of the proposals earlier.

“”It’s a porterhouse steak that’s been served up on a trashcan lid,” said parent Mark Henderson. “We love the idea; we just want to be sure we’re involved in its development.”

Some parents had concerns that Islam would be included in the curriculum, but an official stressed that the curriculum would not be about religion, but about Arabic language and culture.

Mark Hanrahan
The Huffington Post