Arizona School Board Member Says District Should Reject Hiring Christian Teachers

Tamillia Valenzuela
Tamillia Valenzuela WESD Board Member /

Tamillia Valenzuela, a school board member in Arizona’s Washington Elementary School District, said she opposes having a contract with a Christian university over their religious beliefs.

The school district, which serves students in the Phoenix and Glendale areas, had a contract with Arizona Christian University for five years. The contract allowed student teachers at the university to be placed in the district’s classrooms in order to gain experience. 

The board then agreed to dissolve the partnership with Arizona Christian University on February 23rd, with board member Tamillia Valenzuela criticizing the institution’s Christian beliefs.

Valenzuela, who was photographed wearing cat ears, describes herself as “a bilingual, disabled, neurodivergent Queer Black Latina… who loves a good hot wing (but only with the right ranch) and things that sparkle.”

The board member explained her opposition to the contract, saying that the university seeks to “transform the culture with truth by promoting the Biblically-informed values that are foundational to Western civilization, including the centrality of family, traditional sexual morality, and lifelong marriage between one man and one woman.”

“I want to know how bringing [teachers] from an institution that is ingrained in their values so directly brings impact to three of your board members who are a part of the LGBT community,” Valenzuela stated. 

She added that “Because if we’re bringing people in whose mission [has]… been with their institution’s education that very plainly on their website… that above all else, it was to influence people to Biblically-minded. How does that hold space for people of other faiths?”

How does that hold space for our members of the LGBT community? How does that space for people who think differently and do not have the same beliefs,” she went on to say.

She even charged that the contract could make people feel “not … safe,” contending that “At some point, we need to get real with ourselves 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.”

Meanwhile, school board member Kyle Clayton also attacked the Christian university, saying “I, too, echo what Ms. Valenzuela said when I… looked into not only their core values, but the statement of faith… [which they] ask their students to sign and live by.”

“Proselytizing is embedded into how they teach. And I just don’t believe that that belongs in schools,” Clayton also added. 

Spencer Lindquist is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SpencerLndqst and reach out at


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.