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School board member suggests it isn't 'safe' to hire Christian teachers due to their support for monogamy, family, and sexual morality
Image Source: Washington Elementary School District YouTube video screenshot composite

School board member suggests it isn't 'safe' to hire Christian teachers due to their support for monogamy, family, and sexual morality

A member of a woke school board responsible for Arizona's largest elementary district suggested last week that she wouldn't feel safe bringing in "biblically minded" teachers from a Christian university who hadn't ideologically conformed to the satisfaction of LGBT activists.

Previously, degree students from Arizona Christian University could perform their student teaching and practical coursework at the Washington Elementary School District's campuses, reported AZ Free News.

Recognizing that the student teachers' assistance would continue to prove hugely beneficial amid a national teaching shortage and related recruitment difficulties, district staff had requested that the board renew the arrangement with the university for another year.

However, at their Feb. 23 meeting, board members joined Tamillia Valenzuela in expressing their opposition to having pro-family Christian teachers in the WESD, which serves students across 32 schools in the Phoenix and Glendale areas, and voted to dissolve the district's partnership with ACU.

Christians need not apply

Valenzuela has been an at-large member of the district's governing board since Jan. 1.

This self-described "bilingual, disabled, neurodivergent Queer Black Latina… who loves a good hot wing (but only with the right ranch) and things that sparkle," managed to eke out a win in the board's general election with a margin of 465 votes and the endorsements of Planned Parenthood, the pro-abortion group Arizona List, and a gun-control group.

During her campaign, she stated that she wanted to "promote fair representation ... that reflects the diversity of our community."

Evidently "fair representation" does not extend to Christians in her community.

In a Feb. 23 board meeting, during which Valenzuela wore fake cat ears, the board discussed the district's ongoing contract with ACU.

Valenzuela underscored her concern over the university's admission that it is "'committed to Jesus Christ, accomplishing his will and advancements on earth as in Heaven.'"

"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."

Despite admitting that recruitment was "really difficult" in light of the nation's teacher shortage, Valenzuela intimated that it'd be better to suffer the absence of teachers than the presence of Christians.

"Part of their values is ... ‘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,'" said the purported proponent of inclusivity. "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."

Valenzuela indicated that those in the WESD who insist that everyone around them similarly be LGBT-minded would not be well served by having persons who may alternatively influence people to be "biblically minded."

"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," she added.

Valenzuela previously condemned the involvement of students from another Christian college, Grand Canyon University, at a Jan. 12 board meeting.

All of one mind

Gay school board member Kyle Clayton concurred, noting that "proselytizing is embedded into how they teach. And I just don't believe that that belongs in schools."

Clayton further intimated that the continued presence of Christian student teachers — with whom AZ Free News noted there had been no prior incident — might put his son at risk of being shamed for talking about "his two dads."

"For me, this is not a concern about Christianity. There are plenty of Christian denominations who are LGBTQ friendly," said board president and LGBT activist Nikkie Gomez-Whaley.

"My pause is not that they're Christians so much as this particular institution's strong anti-LGBTQ stance and their strong belief that you believe this to your core and you take it out into the world," added the board president. "Even though they may not do anything illegal, where they are preaching or using Bible verses, how do you shut off an essential part of your being?"

Gomez-Whaley emphasized, "We owe it to, um, especially all of our students when we are working in equity, but especially our LGBTQ students and staff who are under fire, who are not protected, and who we have already pledged to support. We cannot continue to align ourselves with organizations that starkly contrast our values and say that we legitimately care about diversity, equity, and inclusion."

Gomez-Whaley, Valenzuela, and Clayton, along with board vice president Jenni Abbott-Bayardi and Lindsey Peterson, all voted to dissolve the arrangement at the completion of this school year.

There are presently 16 ACU students helping the talent-deprived district.

One parent told AZ Free News on the condition of anonymity, "Clearly Ms. Valenzuela believes having Christians involved at Washington Elementary’s schools is unacceptable, whether those people are from Arizona Christian University or simply Christians in general."

Another parent said, "Ms. Valenzuela actually said she has personal concerns with feeling 'safe' within WESD due to the presence of devout believers in Jesus Christ. What’s next? A religious litmus test for public school employees and teachers?"

Student Recognition and Regular Meeting - February 23, 2023, 6:30 p.m.youtu.be

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Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News. He lives in a small town with his wife and son, moonlighting as an author of science fiction.
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