WESD Discriminates Against Christians

On February 23, 2023, Washington Elementary School District's (WESD) Governing Board voted 5-0 to terminate student-teaching contracts with Arizona Christian University (ACU).

The Board gave no other reason than ACU's stance on biblical doctrines concerning heterosexual, monogamous marriage and Christian evangelism.

A "queer cat" (Tamillia Valenzuela) led the charge of canceling ACU, stating that she was "disheartened" to see the contract renewal on the meeting agenda. She went so far as to say Christians and biblical values make her feel "unsafe." 

Board president Nikkie Gomez-Whaley said she was "embarrassed" that she didn't look into ACU sooner. She also said the district "owed it" to their LGBTQ+ allies to no longer partner with organizations that don't align with WESD values.

By "values" the Board means the ridiculous "Resolution Recognizing and Affirming LGBTQ+ Students and Staff" that was adopted in July 2022. The Resolution claims "LGBTQ+ educators in Arizona have been targeted and put on leave for expressing their gender identity or family status and/or being supportive of their student's free expression..."

The statement also says, "WESD believes it is our duty to honor, value and affirm our transgender, nonbinary, and all LGBTQ+ students, staff and families through our policies, practices and curriculum..."

Clockwise: Nikkie Gomez-Whaley, Jenni Abbott-Bayardi,
Kyle Clayton, Lindsey Peterson, and Tamillia Valenzuela
To my knowledge, WESD parents and community members were hardly aware of this document. They especially didn't know the Board would discriminate against Christians to uphold the Resolution.

The Board's decision was unprecedented and unfounded since there were no incidents of ACU student-teachers speaking against the sexual orientation of any student or staff member in the district. For 11 years, ACU abided by WESD's guidelines that forbid proselytizing while on school grounds. The university was persecuted on account of its Core Commitments, which consist of the following statement:

"Influence, engage and transform the culture with truth by promoting the biblically informed values that are foundational to Western civilization, including [but not limited to]:
- the centrality of family
- traditional sexual morality and lifelong marriage between one man and one woman
- a biblical understanding of human nature"

Specifically, these three commitments go against WESD's Resolution. Thus, the university - and Christians who work in the school district - are now canceled. I'm glad ACU and Alliance Defending Freedom filed suit against WESD.

The board meeting on Thursday, March 9, made national headlines and I was one of 80 people allowed inside. Listen to my reaction here


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