DAPHNE, Ala. - Daphne High School's plan to offer Arabic language classes instead of French has drawn criticism from some concerned parents.
Chuck Pyritz, whose sons attend the school, told AL.com he's concerned the district is using the language to introduce his children to Islam. Others say they're concerned with taxpayer money being used to fund an Arabic language program.
School officials say a French teacher retired, and learning Arabic will help prepare students to enter the global economy.
Baldwin County schools superintendent, Alan Lee, says considering the opportunities available to those who speak Arabic, he'd like for his own child to learn the language.
Vanderbilt professor of international education policy, Brian Heuser, says knowing foreign languages and interacting with immigrants from all over the world is essential to remaining globally competitive.