School Board Member Urges School District To Cut Ties With Christian University Over Beliefs


A school board member based in Arizona expressed that she does not want to hire students from a Christian university as teachers.

Tamillia Valenzuela, who identifies as “Afro Latina AF, Queer AF, Witchy AF” on her Twitter page, criticized Arizona Christian University during a school board meeting. She started the meeting telling other board members that she was “disheartened” to see that there was a renewed contract set in place with the school.

According to Fox News, the Washington Elementary School District, which provides services to students in Phoenix and Glendale areas, has had a contract with Arizona Christian University since 2018. This contract allows their student teachers the opportunity to position themselves in schools for “field experience” and also opens doors for “recruitment and hiring.”

“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,” Valenzuela said during the meeting.

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She added, “And while I understand we are currently in a situation across the nation that we have a teacher shortage and recruiting and getting teachers that are willing to teach, because as we just heard, it is really difficult to teach in this climate, it is really difficult to teach in this economy.”

Valenzuela further explained her concerns are whether the Washington Elementary School District’s values align with the values of Arizona Christian University.

She said that the vision of Washington Elementary School District is “commitment to achieving excellence for every child, every day, every opportunity.”

After going “directly” to the Arizona Christian University website, she read that their vision “above all else” is that they are “‘committed to Jesus Christ, accomplishing his will and advancements on earth as in Heaven.’”

The website also states they promote “biblically informed values that are foundational to Western civilization” such as “the centrality of family” and “traditional sexual morality and lifelong marriage between one man and one woman,” which Valenzuela noted during the meeting.

“I want to know how bringing people from an institution that is ingrained in their values that will very directly, one, impact three of your board members who are a part of the LGBTQ community,” she said of the teachers.

Valenzuela noted the school board “added their pronouns to the dias” as a “solidarity” in support of the LGBT community feeling “protected.”

She urged the school board to dig deep and “actually look” at the partnerships that they are doing instead of “performing performative solidarity.”

“Because if we’re bringing people in whose mission have been told, with their institution of education, that very, very plainly on their website… that above all else, it is to influence people to be Biblically-minded. How does that hold space for people of other faiths?” she asked.

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She also questioned how this holds “space for our members of the LGBT community.”

“How does that hold space for people who think differently and do not have the same beliefs,” she continued.

Valenzuela said this was time to for the school board to “get real” with themselves “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, that makes other queer kids who are already facing attack from our law makers that they could not be safe in this community,” she continued.

In a Facebook post written by Valenzuela on Feb. 24, she announced that the school board “unanimously decided to end their partnership with Arizona Christian University.

“Thank you to our community members who made their voices heard!” she wrote.

Lindsay Love, a self proclaimed, “Leftist ex-school board member” applauded Valenzuela on her Twitter page.

“I’m so proud of our new school board members. They’ve stepped up to serve and they’re questioning systems and processes that haven’t been challenged in decades. Essentially @tamival25, who question the districts partnership with AZ Christian University,” she wrote.

“Way to go,” she added.

The school board did not immediately respond to Fox News request for comment about a bias against the university.

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