OKLAHOMA – An Oklahoma school district has decided to stop showing an Oklahoma City conspiracy theory documentary in the classroom.
The decision out of Jenks comes after a Muslim student grew offended, saying the film claims Islamic extremists were responsible for the bombing.
While the film does explore other conspiracy theories floating around, the majority of its focus is Islamic terrorism.
The female Muslim student in Jenks, who the year before had her head scarf ripped off and was called a terrorist, fears the film could lead to anti-Muslim bullying.
The History Channel film, “Oklahoma City Bombing” begins with a disclaimer saying the historical event is quote “shrouded in mystery”.
It goes on to say, “They invite you, the viewer, to draw your own conclusions.”
The film was shown last May in a Jenks 9th grade Oklahoma History class.
The school district says it was intended to be accompanied by class discussion.
Adam Soltani with CAIR Oklahoma says, “Class was dismissed thereafter and a discussion was never brought up about it.”
With the help of local Islamic activist Adam Soltani, the Muslim student in that class went to the school board demanding it be removed from the shelves.
“We don’t want this to lead to a hatred of Muslims or Islam in the school system and what could lead to, you could say anti-Muslim bullying,” says Soltani.
Lynne Roller with the Oklahoma City National Memorial says “I mean it is a fact that at first we couldn’t imagine that an American had done this.”
Roller argues how important it is to discuss everything, including the conspiracy theories. But says there is a right way and a wrong way to do it.
“It would not be smart of any of us to try to keep students or adults from exploring all of the different avenues of a story. If something’s out there that’s not true, we have the opportunity to show this is why that’s not true,” says Roller. “We just want to be sure that the story of the bombing is never forgotten. But more than just the story of what happened are the lessons learned.”
Soltani says they are concerned the video is being shown in other classrooms across the state, without a Muslim student to speak out against it.
They hope other school districts will follow in Jenks’ lead.