Just yesterday I posted about the Senator in Tennessee who wants to make TANF assistance payments to families conditional on how well the children are doing in school. Today, the Universe saw fit to deliver Round Two of this sort of fuckery to me, in the form of a school in Maryland making religious accommodations for Muslim students conditional on their grades.
Gosh, why didn't anyone ever tell me that the human rights of children - rights to food, shelter, and religious expression - are contingent upon how well they please the almighty public education system? "Get good grades" is not as simple as it generally sounds, for a variety of reasons ranging from developmental disabilities, different learning styles, difficulties with particular subjects, or simply being the kind of kid whose unconventional personality and academic style is "unacceptable" by the rigid standards of the public school system. (Show of hands, who here got in trouble, repeatedly, for not showing your work or for using alternate methods to get your answers, because it made more sense to you than the "right" way of doing it - even if you still got the correct answer? *raises hand*)
This comes down to ageism and Islamophobia, pure and simple. Islamophobia because they're certainly not requiring Christian students to get good grades before being allowed to wear a cross or pray before class. Ageism because I'd love to see a workplace try to make legally-required religious accommodations contingent on your latest performance review. Just imagine the shitstorm that would kick up!
For bonus fuckery points, this "accommodation" - and I hesitate to call it that, because can you call a conditional concession that must be earned a real accommodation? - only came about after some Muslim students began praying during the day at school, and teachers got upset and tried to make them stop, telling them "this is a Christian school".
By the way, Parkdale High School is a public school.
At which point the principal stepped in - good for her, I guess? Really I shouldn't have to feel approval of that course of action, it's the bare minimum requirement of school management, caring for the needs of all one's students equally, but there are plenty who wouldn't have said anything, or would have supported the teachers in their harassment of Muslim students. - and came up with this "compromise". I just want to ask, why was a compromise necessary? Why could she not have just told the teachers to STFU and look up the 1st Amendment as pertains to education, and given Muslim students the accommodations they needed without making it conditional?
Oh. Right. Because fuck fairness, when it comes to children, Muslims, or Muslim children.