Sullivan County School Board Votes 4-2 to Allow Text Equating God and Allah

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The Sullivan County Board of Education voted 4-2 Tuesday to adopt a controversial social studies textbook that critics say promotes God and Allah as the same, WJHL said.
The adoption for the seventh-grade book doesn’t mandate its use, WJHL said. It only makes it eligible for the district’s purchase.

The station quoted one parent, Richard Penkoski, who said, “It’s denigrating Christianity and favoring Islam and anybody who reads that book will get that themselves. That’s why I am against this.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called on Muslims to attend the Sullivan County Board of Education meeting to oppose “Islamophobic opposition from at least one board member,” The Tennessee Star reported Tuesday. CAIR provided the email addresses for school board members and instructions for signing up for the public comment portion of the meeting.

Board Chairman Michael Hughes, Vice Chairman Randall Jones, Matthew Spivey, and Randall Gilmore (pictured above, left-to-right) voted for adoption, the Kingsport Times-News said. Jane Thomas and Paul Robinson voted no. Board member Mark Ireson was absent.

The book by McGraw-Hill, called “World,” was the overwhelming choice of teachers on the textbook committee, the Times-News said. It could be formally chosen following a public comment session on April 15 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Akard Service Center.

Earlier reports incorrectly identified the textbook as “My World” by Pearson, but school officials later clarified the book is McGraw-Hill’s “World.”

The newspaper also said:

Director of Schools Evelyn Rafalowski explained that the board by law had to adopt textbooks by April 15 and that the blanket adoption served that purpose. Even after the system chooses a final seventh grade book, she said the system is not bound to buy it.

Islamic instruction has previously been a hot topic in Sullivan County schools.

WJHL reported in 2016 that a mother complained about the topic during a school board meeting.

Michelle Edmisten said her daughter refused to complete some of the assignments regarding Islam because of those beliefs, and as a result failed several of those assignments. She asked for the book to be taken out of the school.

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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.
Photos “Sullivan School Board Chairman Michael Hughes, Vice Chairman Randall Jones, Randall Gilmore and Matthew Spivey” by Sullivan County Schools.





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33 Thoughts to “Sullivan County School Board Votes 4-2 to Allow Text Equating God and Allah”

  1. Sarah E. Tinkham

    Did Allah die on the Cross? That is what I thought!

  2. Ginger Coleman

    I am not from your area but closer to Roanoke, VA. I am not sure how to help you at this time but I offer my support in coming together to promote God in schools and I support you in your efforts to support your children. May you stop this in its tracks. I shall be praying for your success.

  3. Hugh G Clevenger

    Remember these four names, and the one absent from the voting as well, and make sure to vote them out of office. Let’s make sure we get the kind of representatives that have the Christian values and beliefs you want your children to have. We owe it to them!

  4. Jamie Daly

    Everyone should know by now that Pearson bought out Macgraw Hill. Most of the share owners are Muslim

  5. Eddie McMillan

    I finished high school with Randall Jones at The Cove High school! He was not raised to believe in Islam, it was Jesus Christ the son of the almighty God!! He is still the same ,yesterday, today and forever!!! No Islam!!!!Randall ,don’t forget how you were taught!!!

  6. gary keebler

    Too bad there isn’t some law that could call for all their resignations….

    1. Carole

      I agree. We citizens need to do a better job electing people to these governing boards.

  7. joyce

    I predict a short tenure in office for these four IDIOTS! But betcha dollars to donuts that their bank accounts just roared to life!

  8. Marie vogus

    Idiotts they are really trying to implement their evil sharia law and quaran of violence. Jesus is love. And you people better realize that the CAIR is a corrupt powerful group.
    Islam muslims are not good for our country.

  9. Karen Bracken

    Don’t worry. These 4 School Board members will be gone in their next election. The gears have already started to turn on this. We are going to have a county school board that supports local control of education run by the school board and parents. Not the bureaucrats in Nashville or DC.

    1. Mindy Mabry

      Wow! We are continually sliding down the slippery slope in this country! What was evil is now good…what was good is now evil. End of times!! And yes these need to be voted OUT!

    2. Wilma Forsythe

      Looks like CAIR has undue influence there.

      1. Christina

        I say all parents need sue every member in that cair organization, the ones voted yes on this and the state! School doesn’t have the right to forcefully teach a religion to your child! Make them teach all the Islamic children in our public schools atheism and satanism!! Eye for eye all fairness

    3. Diana Cumbo

      AMEN let me know we need to rally our ministers we the people of Sullivan county had no idea these idiots were doing this I think a recall election now and get them out TODAY

  10. Nea

    They are not the same. With all do respect….. “Allah” is the name by which the Muslim nation calls their god.
    “God” is the Most High God. Creator and Ruler of Heaven and Earth. The great I AM. There is no equal to God Almighty.

    1. Betty L Clouse

      Your problem is that you want all Americans to believe in your sick religion of hatred!!
      My children will be pulling them out of school immediately and I will teach them!!
      Enough said! Our government in TN is becoming corrupt!!

  11. LISA petrusak

    What a bunch of idiot’s is what this bunch is. So glad that last year was mine son’s last year of school so he don’t hear this trash. Shame on the ones that voted this way.

  12. Janie

    The ones that voted for this cannot be Christians. If they were Christians they would never have voted yes.

  13. clayton dungey

    Normally I would suggest that the non -christians of that school board responsible for this travesty, rot in hell but I don’t think they will have to worry about that!

  14. Bill white

    Each one of these guys look like sissies to me…scared of there on shadow

  15. Kevin

    I hear this all the time, “that’s why I homeschool my kids…” And although I agree 100% with the concept, there is a problem with this mindset. It’s not unlike the early Colonists. When the boot heal of the British crown became too much, some moved farther West, to avoid the oppression. Some took up arms and fought! Homeschooled kids might turn out OK only to be surrounded and enveloped by a large tyrannical State created by the uneducated who believe in Socialism/Islam, etc., etc..

    We need to dismantle the Education Industrial Complex in Tennessee immediately! It starts by supporting homeschooling and private schools, allowing school choice (like Governor Lee’s ESA program), AND preventing public funds (taxpayer dollars) from being used to fund private lobbying organizations like the Tennessee School Board Association, the Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents and the Tennessee Education Association! Then, down the road, we sever all ties to the US Department of Education!

    1. Dan Ellis

      No surprise here. Christians will vote these fake folks out of town.

    2. Emmanuel Anthou


  16. Sim

    First the courts threw “God” out of schools,
    Now want to allow this “Other god” back in schools.

    “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”.

    This is what the Liberal/Democrats depend on more than anything else.

    I get a little “sick and tried” of people saying “pray for our nations” when they themselves won’t so much as lift a finger, much less throw a stick/stone at the “Heathens”.

    “Faith without works, is as dead as they are”.

    If you want something from God, you’ll have to “WORK”, and maybe even make a “Sacrifice” to get it.

    Just “WHERE” are the “Pastors/Leaders/Teachers/Christians” make the news protesting against all these things they say are “Evil”???

    Most have become so “Politically Correct” they can’t even condemn the Devils or his disciples for “FEAR” of being condemned themselves by the Devils Disciples.

    American won’t go to Hell because of the Devil, but because there was no opposition to stop him from leading it there.

    And like the Liberals/Democrats, many “Christians” are going to find out that “Words” (God’s Words) will hurt them more than any “sticks or stones”.

  17. Matt

    These clowns DO NOT represent our people here ion Sullivan County. They are infamous for ignoring their constituents. Ashamed!

  18. Victoria

    This is just one more reason I am homeschooling my children after this school year! Sullivan county schools are a joke they care more about money and test scores than actual teaching the kids things they need to learn for life!!! They just want fancy new buildings and fake high test scores.

  19. Islam should never be taught in our schools. Getting to the point that all parents should participate in home schooling to stop the indoctrination of our kids into religion and politics that we don’t approve of. It’s unfortunate that we can no longer trust even our local government.

    1. I’m all for teaching about islam.. They need to teach the unbiased truth. They need to teach how the koran instructs muslims to kill ‘people of the book” (Christians and Jews). How it instructs on jihad for all ‘infidels’, how muhomad was a pedophile and ‘married’ his favorite wife Aisha when she was just NINE YEARS OLD.. Yes, I’m in favor of teaching ABOUT islam. the TRUTH.. for the TRUTH shall set you free.. and Yeshua Jesus said “I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life.. indeed.. let’s teach ALL about islam.. the religion ‘of peace’ that mandates its women be covered from head to tow or else get a good dose of acid in the face, and if you are homosexual you will be thrown from a building..

      1. Old Hickory

        Well stated! I agree!

      2. TNinfidel

        Best post. Pure truth.

      3. Ralf Walters

        Christians believe God is three in One. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Muslims don’t believe in Jesus as the Son of God, who reigns in the Kingdom of Heaven. The Heaven of the Christian God is not a paradise where 72 Virgins await the horny martyrs of Mohammed’s Islam.