'Islam 101' principal gets support

June 11, 2008 4:56:48 AM PDT
Parents in Friendswood came out in support of a principal Tuesday night. That principal asked to be reassigned because of a controversial presentation.

Almost two dozen people signed up to speak related to the so-called Islam 101 controversy. The majority were in support of the now former Friendswood Junior High School Principal Robin Lowe.

The cafeteria at the junior high was packed to address the school board. People came armed with their opinions.

"This outrage is starting to look like nothing less than racism," said one parent.

"I am deeply concerned that an organization like CAIR was allowed access to our school," said another person in attendance.

It was the first time parents and community members had a chance to publicly address the board since the May 22nd controversial presentation on Islam. The district says Lowe allowed The Council on American Islamic relations or CAIR to talk to almost 900 students about the religion. She did it without administration approval and is now suffering the consequences. Lowe is now reassigned though the superintendent says she requested it.

Friendswood ISD Superintendent Trish Hanks started the meeting with a statement, then came a flurry of supporters of the principal.

"My hope is that this is only temporary and she will be reinstated," said one supporter.

There were also a few dissenters.

"The difference here was that it was compelled attendance without parental notification," said another parent.

And then for the first time in his 18 years on the board, board president pastor Ralph Hobratschk left his seat to also make a public comment.

"The essence is to accept and forgive and move on," he said.

He says he was compelled by his maker.

"I think there was a lot of intolerance and we needed that word of forgiveness," Hobratschk said.

The superintendent says Principal Lowe herself requested she be reassigned to central administration. She says Lowe thought it was in the best interest of the children. Both the district and the board hope to put this firestorm behind them to focus on education.

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