Christian university wins in settlement with school board over terminated contract

 May 7, 2023

An Arizona school district was the target of a lawsuit by a university after it terminated an 11-year contract. At the same time, members of the school board publicly disparaged the Christian values of the university. 

According to Fox News, Arizona Christian University filed suit against the Washington Elementary School District. The school board had terminated a student-teacher program contract at the same time several school board members trashed the higher learning institution simply because it promotes traditional Christian values.

The school district settled the lawsuit out of court this week, and the contract was fully reinstated.

Fox reported that the settlement likely meant the school board was also on the hook for the university's legal fees.

The details

The Christian university was represented by Alliance Defending Freedom. The group said the school district "showed blatant hostility to ACU’s beliefs"  in questioning its mission statement and Christian values.

Tamillia Valenzuela, who 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," was named in the suit.

She landed as a defendant in the suit for attacking the university.

"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,'" she said. "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… And I think it's a really good time for us to take a moment and really pause about where our values lie."

She added: "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."

"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 continued.

Social media reacts

Proponents of religious freedom celebrated the school board's settlement with the Christian university.

Another Twitter user wrote, "Hey Tamillia Valenzuela and the red of the bigots on the Washington Elementary School District! How’d canceling Arizona Christian University’s intern teacher contract work out for you? Wonder what your aborted religious purge cost taxpayers. Hmm?"

These are the kinds of wins that should definitely be celebrated.

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