Jenks school officials made the right choice when they discontinued use of a documentary film that suggests Islamic terrorists might have been behind the Oklahoma City bombing.
The History Channel film — “Conspiracy: Oklahoma City Bombing” — examines speculative theories about the deadly 1995 bombing, concentrating on attempts to link it to Islamic terrorism.
The film had been used at the district’s Freshman Academy to teach students to analyze conspiracy theories and hasty generalizations.
Muslim parents asked that the film be pulled because it could lead to hostility toward students of Middle Eastern and Muslim background. The district initially turned down the request, but on appeal a group of administrators sided with the parents and stopped the film’s use.
We think the intent of using the film was pure — teaching kids about flawed ways of thinking — but the choice was still not justified.
The district’s first obligation is to provide a safe, nondiscriminatory learning environment to all its students. While the film might have been an effective tool for teaching students to look askance at conspiratorial thinking, there are certainly other tools available that don’t bring with them the risk of targeting students for trouble because of their religion or heritage.
If the film had suggested a secret Vatican plot for the bombing or a Zionist conspiracy, no one would have ever considered showing it in a school setting. Suggestions of Islamic terror links to the Oklahoma City bombing are just as outlandish, although, sadly, our society is sometimes less able to recognize it as such.
We know who conspired to bomb the Murrah building, and they were American-born Christians.