Arizona School Board Cuts Ties With Christian College, and You Can Probably Guess Why

(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, file)

It’s not unusual for school systems to partner with nearby colleges and universities to bring student teachers into their districts. One school board in Arizona is cutting ties with a nearby college that has been supplying the district with a pipeline of student teachers, and it’s for the most obvious reason you might expect.


AZ Central reports that the Washington Elementary School District board is ending its program where Arizona Christian University supplies the district with student teachers. The college has sent student teachers to the school system for 11 years with no complaints, so what’s the sudden problem?

I bet you can guess, and if you guessed that it has something to do with Arizona Christian University’s stance on marriage, you win the prize.

The push to cleanse the district of the stain of Arizona Christian University’s student teachers is the brainchild of board member Tamillia Valenzuela, who actually wears cat ears and shows off her septum piercing in her official board photo and includes her pronouns in English and Spanish in her bio.

Valenzuela also refers to herself as a “disabled, neurodivergent Queer Black Latina,” so, needless to say, she has won the gold medal in the intersectional Olympics. (Side note, it must be exhausting to constantly define oneself by demographic criteria rather than the personal characteristics that make one truly unique.)

Valenzuela went out of her way to point out that three of the five board members are LGBTQ and cites the Arizona Christian University website, which states that the college’s mission is to “influence, engage and transform the culture with truth by promoting the biblically informed values that are foundational to Western civilization,” which includes  “traditional sexual morality and lifelong marriage between one man and one woman.”


“At some point we need to get real with ourselves and take a look [at] who we are making legal contracts with and the message that that is sending to our community because that makes me feel like I could not be safe in this school district,” Valenzuela said. “That makes queer kids who are already facing attack from our lawmakers feel that they could not be safe in this community.”

How many “queer kids” are there at the elementary school level? I can’t imagine that it’s too many, but other board members had similar concerns.

Related: Is It Time to Abandon Public Schools?

“I just don’t believe that belongs in schools,” said newly elected board member Kyle Clayton. “I would never want my son to talk about his two dads and be shamed by a teacher who believed a certain way and is at a school that demands that they teach through their Biblical lens.”

Board Chairwoman Nikkie Gomez-Whaley wanted to make clear that the board doesn’t have anything against all Christians, just against those who hold to 2,000 years of Biblical orthodoxy.

“For me, this is not a concern about Christianity,” she declared. “There are plenty of Christian denominations who are LGBTQ friendly so I want to make it clear that for me my pause is not that they’re Christians so much as this particular institution’s strong anti-LGBTQ stance and their belief that you believe this to your core and you take it out into the world…”


But what Gomez-Whaley said next is the most telling statement of all.

“How do you shut off an essential part of your being and not be biased toward individuals in which you are in charge of nurturing and supporting unconditionally?” she asked. “I don’t see how that disconnect is possible.”

The “disconnect” between one’s most cherished beliefs and simply treating people decently no matter whether they agree with you is impossible to Gomez-Whaley and the other members of the board because it’s how the left treats every situation.

People on the left cannot separate their biases from the way they treat others. (Yes, I know I’m painting with an awfully broad brush, but it’s a generality that largely rings true.) Leftists will treat differently anyone with whom they disagree, so they expect Christians and conservatives to do exactly the same. It’s projecting of the highest order.

In the eyes of people like these board members, it’s impossible for Christians to treat kids decently if they’re struggling with same-sex attraction or gender identity. The board thinks that these student teachers from Arizona Christian University will by default treat anyone who doesn’t conform to their worldview differently, even though there has been no history of such behavior — because it’s the way leftists live their lives.


Laurie Roberts, the author of the AZ Central story, asks readers to imagine what the situation would look like if the shoe were on the other foot. What if a school board voted to discriminate against LGTBQ teachers in order to “protect” students? It wouldn’t fly. Neither should this type of discrimination, but we can all be sure that the board won’t reverse its decision.


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