A federal lawsuit has been filed against the Washington Elementary School District (WESD) for religious discrimination by the Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of Arizona Christian University (ACU). This comes two weeks after WESD decided to cut ties with ACU, with whom they had a partnership for 11 years, citing differences in values. The university requires students and staff to sign a statement of faith with anti-LGBTQ principles and encourages them to spread their religious beliefs. ADF claims that there have been no complaints about ACU students working at WESD and that the decision violates the university’s constitutionally protected freedoms.
At the Governing Board meeting, where only 80 members of the public were allowed inside the building due to security concerns, dozens of parents voiced their opinion about the decision to end the WESD-ACU relationship. Board member Tamilia Valenzuela addressed the room, expressing her concerns that adults are perpetuating bullying and hatred. However, Valenzuela and all members of the board have received threats, with Valenzuela claiming she received death threats. Protesters both for and against the decision were present, with some calling for Valenzuela to resign. Ne’Lexia Galloway, the executive director for the Maricopa County Democratic Party, expressed support for the board, stating that they have been inclusive in their decisions and active in the community.