Fox News, by Hannah Grossman: An Arizona school board member wearing cat ears during a meeting said she would oppose having a contract with a Christian university over the religious and Biblical beliefs they espouse, Fox News Digital found.
The Washington Elementary School District, which serves students in the Phoenix and Glendale areas, had an ongoing contract with Arizona Christian University for five years, enabling their student teachers to be placed in its schools for field experience. The contract opened up opportunities for recruitment and hiring.
On Feb. 23, the board agreed on a motion to dissolve the partnership with the Christian university.
Fox News Digital asked the school board whether they had a bias against Christian beliefs, and they said, “The board’s decision to discontinue its partnership with Arizona Christian University was based on the board’s commitment to create a safe place for our LGBTQ+ students, staff, and community. This includes not knowingly entering into partnerships with any organization that explicitly discriminates against protected classes covered by our nondiscrimination policies.”
During the meeting, school board member Tamillia Valenzuela blasted the university over its Christian beliefs and said she was “disheartened” to learn about the contract that had been ongoing for five years.
Valenzuela describes herself as “a bilingual, disabled, neurodivergent Queer Black Latina… who loves a good hot wing (but only with the right ranch) and things that sparkle.”
“While I full-heartedly believe in the religious freedom and people being able to practice whatever faith that they have, I had some concerns regarding looking at this particular institution,” she said. “And I think it’s a really good time for us to take a moment and really pause about where our values lie.”
“And while I understand we are currently in a situation across the nation that we have a teacher shortage and recruiting… is really difficult,” she said.
“My concerns, [is] when I go to Arizona Christian University’s website, [they are] ‘committed to Jesus Christ, accomplishing his will and advancements on earth as in Heaven.’”
“Part of their values is… [to] ‘transform the culture with truth by promoting the Biblically-informed values that are foundational to Western civilization, including the centrality of family, traditional sexual morality, and lifelong marriage between one man and one woman,'” she said.
“I want to know how bringing [teachers] from an institution that is ingrained in their values so directly brings impact to three of your board members who are a part of the LGBT community.”
She added that the board recently added their pronouns at the dias as a solidarity move with the LGBT community.
“Because if we’re bringing people in whose mission [has]… been with their institution’s education that very plainly on their website… that above all else, it was to influence people to Biblically-minded. How does that hold space for people of other faiths? How does that hold space for our members of the LGBT community? How does that space for people who think differently and do not have the same beliefs,” she said.
“At some point, we need get real with ourselves and take a look at who we’re making legal contracts with and the message that is sending to our community. Because that makes me feel like I could not be safe in this school district.”
Other members of the school board expressed similar concerns.
School board member Kyle Clayton blasted the university for “teaching with a Biblical lens.”
“I, too, echo what Ms. Valenzuela said when I… looked into not only their core values, but the statement of faith… [which they] ask their students to sign and live by,” he said.
“Proselytizing is embedded into how they teach. And I just don’t believe that that belongs in schools.”
Valenzuela and Clayton did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Keeping Christians out of teaching positions is similar to keeping God out of schools.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.” Psalm 111:10.
William StroudSaturday March 25th, 2023 at 01:42 AM
I think sometimes Christianity is mis represented by people who call themselves Christian but don’t really live according to what the Bible actually teaches. Christians are involved in the great controversy between Christ and the devil and it is an actual war. But the war is against sin not sinners, not against people. I remember a decade or so ago people protesting against “gay pride”. One sign carried by the protesters said “God hates f__s” (gays). My understanding of the Bible is that God loves every human, gay, murderer, drug addict, prostitute, dishonest businessman, Hitler etc. What God hates is sin and we are called to do the same and to judge no one. God is judge. Our mission in the war against sin is to share this message with as many fellow human beings as possible. The message is God is love, He hates no person, He hates sin because sin separates us from Him. The devil has blinded many to the truth about God, quite successfully. But God has a promise found in the book of Isaiah 55:11 “…so shall my Word be that goes out of my mouth, It shall not return to me empty but shall accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it”.Our weapon in the war…Gods Word, thw Sword of the Spirit. The Truth as it is in Jesus is our weapon. And as we engage in this war God’s promise to us is that He will go with us.