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Published On: Sun, Apr 14th, 2013

Walt Tutka, New Jersey teacher, filed lawsuit after being fired for showing a student his Bible

A former teacher in New Jersey who lost his job for showing his Bible to a student has filed a complaint against the Phillipsburg School District.

Walt Tutka claims religious discrimination and retaliation as the reasons for his dismissal from the district in January, according to his complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

School teachers should be careful even showing their students a Bible.  photo John per wikimedia commons

School teachers should be careful even showing their students a Bible.
photo John per wikimedia commons

“It is shocking that the school district has forced Walt to file a complaint with the EEOC for religious discrimination,” said Hiram Sasser, director of litigation for Liberty Institute, which is representing Tutka with a New Jersey law firm. “All Walt did was respond to a student’s intellectual curiosity and the school district suspended and then terminated him.”

Tutka was teaching in the Phillipsburg Middle School last fall when he told a student who was last in a line a quote from the Bible, “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

The quote, Tutka said, prompted the student to ask several times where it came from, leading Tutka to show the student his personal copy of the Bible on October 12.

Tutka worked his last day in the district three days later, according to the complaint. The school board voted to fire him January 14.

“I believe that I have been discriminated against in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and retaliated against regarding same,” Tutka’s grievance states.

The Liberty Institute, a Christian legal defense organization, will team with a local New Jersey firm to represent Tutka’s interests.

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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