Way back in early March we reported on a school board in Arizona that was terminating an 11-year student teacher partnership with Arizona Christian University because of the school’s Christian beliefs. This was led by a member of the school board with rabbit ears who refers to herself as a “bilingual, disabled, neurodivergent Queer Black Latina.”
The school board voted unanimously to terminate the contract they had with ACU because they were committed to creating “a safe place for our LGBTQ+ students, staff, and community.” And they felt they couldn’t do that any longer by receiving student teachers from a Christian university whose website stated that they are “committed to Jesus Christ, accomplishing his will and advancements on earth as in Heaven.”
Because of this, ACU sued the school board for religious discrimination and won. The school board just settled the lawsuit:
An Arizona School District settled a religious discrimination case Thursday two months after it was accused of illegally terminating a contract while its members blasted the Christian “Jesus” values of a university.
On Wednesday evening, the board restored a contract with the university. A settlement agreement also likely will include that the district will be responsible for thousands in legal fees.
Alliance Defending Freedom, who represented the university, said the school board “showed blatant hostility to ACU’s beliefs” when it questioned how one could “be committed to Jesus Christ” and yet, at the same time, respect LGBTQ students and board members.
According to AZ Central, those legal fees were $25,000:
Without comment, the board voted 4-1 to resume using ACU student teachers and to pay $25,000 in ACU’s legal fees, according to terms of the settlement laid out by ACU’s attorneys.
Wow, a nearly unanimous vote to completely backtrack on this blatant Christian discrimination. I guess they knew they were going to lose big time if they continued with this.
The interesting thing is that the issue had nothing to do with the student teachers themselves. In fact the school district had gone on to hire some of these student teachers:
Arizona Christian has provided student teachers to Washington Elementary schools for 11 years.
The contract renewal was a routine item, put on a February consent agenda with a recommendation from the administration that it be renewed.
Every board member voted to terminate the contract. This, even though no one could point to so much as a single complaint about any ACU student teacher.
In fact, Washington Elementary has had 25 student teachers from ACU in the last 11 years, every one of whom had to sign a document agreeing to abide by the district’s non-discrimination policies.
The district has hired 17 ACU graduates, according to ACU’s lawyers at the Alliance Defending Freedom.
This never was about the teachers or even the good of the school district. This was all about the leftist hatred of Christianity. But at the end of the day they did the right thing and we can only hope they learned a valuable lesson in the process.