A For God’s Glory Alone Exclusive
We recieved this letter from Pastor Jim Montoya in Los Lunas.
Jerry Esquivel, my wife Margaret’s cousin, was given a four day suspension for advising kids on Abstinence and the need for spiritual guidance while discussing the issue of Teen Pregnancy in Valencia County. Jerry is an instructor Lunas video cinemetography and robotics at the School of Dream Academy Charter School in Los Lunas. He was discussing with the students in developing a video on Teen Pregnancy and during the course of discussion the subject of how to deal with the issue came up. He provided his own counsel to his 10 year old daughter. He mentioned Abstinence, spiritual guiidance and God and a student overheard and engaged in the discussion. The student complained to her mother, who in turn contacted the School Administator.The School Administrator initially placed him on suspension Wednesday for one day until the hearing which was held Thursday . At the hearing he was placed on three day suspension. The charges were given to him in writing but I don’t have the details. The Administration is sending a clear message to teachers don’t talk about religion, don’t mention God and don’t discuss sex in class in any context. Jerry is going to stand for truth at all cost and I need to stand with him.Please pray regarding this situation. I recommended him to contact the Alliance Defending Freedom.
It is becoming abundantly clear that religious freedom is vanishing in our nation’s public schools. The courts have made it abundantly clear that Christian values can be taught to our children, however, school administrators continue to find a false separation of school from religion and use this false narrative as a reason to punish educators who teach ethical behaviors, such as abstinence. Meanwhile, these same administrators see nothing wrong with advancing the humanist agenda including such perverse sexual behavior like homosexuality and acts I would not even mention.
It is more than time for the church, i.e. the body of Christ, to take back our schools. We must run for school board elections and make our voices heard at meetings. Enough is enough.
If NM schools are like those in Massachusetts, where I used to live, the school districts are represented legally by (usually) local law firms: the schools have them on retainer so that there’s a legal record of their being hired to represent the district, and there’s another fund that’s figured each year into the budget that pays them for any actual legal work they do: research, court cases, etc. In these “overly litigious times” (as a NM friend who’s a Christian and who knows your ministry), this legal representation is an essential for any school district.
If this story is accurate as reported above, it’s likely that the student’s parents brought legal action against the school. Whenever this happens, it cannot be ignored or brushed aside: it MUST be addressed in some manner.
It IS possible that the school could have gone to court over this matter on behalf of the teacher, and it’s quite likely that they would have won, too… but, there’s only so much money per year available for a district’s legal expenses. If another case came up later within the fiscal year, there might not be money available left in the yearly budget to pay the lawyers; if so, the fees would have to be paid out of monies already earmarked for other purposes within the school district. Bluntly, this is a battle school districts don’t want to fight year after year.
A case like this would take several weeks, or more, to accomplish, and would cost the district a lot of time, plus legal fees, to say nothing of the nuisance publicity that would be generated. It therefore is possible that the district took this action entirely to placate the parents bringing the legal action; such issues have been settled before in this way.
I suspect that while the teacher was suspended, it could end up as a suspension WITH pay, and that there’ll be nothing adverse on the teacher’s personal record. (I cannot be certain of this, however, because I have been unable to find any corroboration of this story elsewhere in the media.)
The opinions of much of the public to the contrary, the Constitution DOES allow teachers to mention God and different faiths in class (I do so myself), but it does not allow for anything of an evangelical nature to be presented in the classroom – and examples of this already are on record as occuring within the Texas Public Schools. Then, there are people who are wrongly terrified of ANY mention of ANY faith-related matter. In previous generations, these people may have disliked Believers in any faith but their own having any sort of voice in the public schools, but they couldn’t take legal action against them; now they can and do. However, this last is too complicated a matter to address at the end of an already too long comment.
As far as we know, there was no legal action taken by the parents. We value the insight you have given. Unfortunately, you are correct in stating that many schools are acting out of fear when it comes to the freedom to teach values and do not allow ANY mention of faith related issues.
Pastor Paul Holt
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