WESTMORELAND, Tenn. (Christian Examiner) – Herb Mays fought for his country during Vietnam, earning a purple heart and silver star. Now a pastor and grandfather, he is fighting the public school system in his hometown of Westmoreland, Tennessee, for teaching the tenets of Islam to students.
"I think what's wrong with the world today is that good people don't stand up and evil prevails," Mays said. "And so I'm just making a stand," he said about pulling his granddaughter from Westmoreland Middle School.
Mays said he was shocked to learn his granddaughter was learning about Islam and the Quran in her social studies class.
"We had to learn the five pillars of Islam and their beliefs and practices and what they have to do and all what they believe in," his granddaughter told WZTV in Nashville. "It didn't feel right, doing this. ... It's not what I know and it just didn't feel right."
According to the Tennessee State Board of Education, the new social studies standards were approved in 2013. A spokesman said world religion is a seventh-grade requirement, but that "it is up to each school district to choose the curriculum, text books and how much time is spent on each religion," according to the Fox 17 affiliate.
"We don't teach the Bible [in school]," said Mays, pastor of Hosanna Church in Portland, Tennessee. "We can't carry the Bible anymore to school. We can't pray in school. So I'm upset that the seventh-grade social studies class is learning about the Quran."
About taking his granddaughter out of classes, Mays said, "Yes, I think it's a radical stand; I really do. But I stand up for what I believe in."