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08/05/2023 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – T he Washington Elementary School District in Glendale, Arizona, ended an 11-year agreement with Arizona Christian University (ACU) that allowed students to serve as student-teachers, due to the university’s commitment to its Christian convictions.

The district board said, “While we recognize the right of individuals to practice their faith, public schools are secular institutions. To that end, the board unanimously voted to discontinue its partnership with ACU, whose policies do not align with our commitments. This is not a rejection of any particular faith, as we remain open to partnering with faith-based organizations that share our commitment to equity and inclusion.”

The board alleged that having student-teachers from the Christian university would hurt LGBTQ-identifying students.

Nikkie Gomez-Whaley, the president of the board, said she was concerned that student-teachers would not be able to separate their work from their religion. She says her hesitation is not because the students are Christian but because they attend ACU.

“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 and not be biased to the individuals in which you are in charge of nurturing and supporting unconditionally?” said Gomez-Whaley, according to the Christian Post. “I don’t see how that disconnect is possible.”

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