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Enloe Teacher Suspended With Pay After Speaker Controversy

Posted March 1, 2007
Updated March 2, 2007

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— A social studies teacher at Enloe High School has been suspended with pay after an invited speaker criticized Islam.

Officials said Robert Escamilla invited Kamil Solomon to talk with students on Feb. 16. Students said Solomon, who heads up the Kamil International Ministries Organization, handed out a pamphlet entitled, “Why Women Should Not Marry Muslims.”

The pamphlet Solomon handed out includes passages like, "To be a Muslim's wife means you would sacrifice your freedom. Do you like to be a partner or a prisoner?"

Another passage says "there's an Arabic saying that says, My son comes first, then my horse, then my wife."

Some students and parents have complained to school-system officials. Attorneys with the Wake County School Board are interviewing students, faculty, and school administrators about the incident.

"It's disheartening. However, within the context of it, we want to make sure that when we make a decision, we find out what exactly happened," said Michael Evans, a representative with Wake County schools. "We want to make the best decision possible, not only to resolve this particular situation, but then also what's going to happen going forward."

In a letter sent to faculty and staff by Enloe principal Beth Cochran, she wrote about the use of guest speakers at the school:

"Guest speakers can provide a wonderful enrichment opportunity for our students by bringing unique personal experiences and various points of view that can significantly enhance our students’ education. When we invite speakers into our classrooms, however, there is an expectation that the presentation is not only aligned with the standard course of study, but is also relevant to the class unit and appropriate in tone and topic for high school students in a public school setting."

The ACLU of North Carolina is also investigating the incident.

“We are deeply disappointed by the manner in which the school has thus far handled these serious allegations,” said Jennifer Rudinger, Executive Director of the ACLU-NCLF. "In the face of overwhelming evidence that proselytizing took place in this public school, school officials have insisted on miscasting this as a free speech issue. Children’s religious upbringing should be directed by their parents, not by government officials entrusted with teaching students to read and write. The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment was designed to prevent this very activity."

ACLU officials said if the school does not acknowledge what happened, a lawsuit may be filed. The group also wants assurances that the incident will not be repeated.
173 Comments

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  • lasutoo Mar 7, 2007

    rh93, thank you. It's good to hear a sane voice coming from today's youth.

    It's also nice to hear people who identify as Christians still understanding separation of church and state.

  • Lightfoot Mar 7, 2007

    Given a choice between evolution with tons of scientific evidence, versus claiming some giant invisible spook pulled us out of a magic hat, I'm siding with evolution.

  • RochesterRedWolf Mar 7, 2007

    rh93, the middle schooler, is smarter than just about everyone else on here. Only an adult can be as ignorant as some on here are on full display

    james004, exactly what was this anti-christian literature?

  • Lizard Paw Mar 6, 2007

    Carbon dating is not used to date fossils. The geologic column is. And it is phony.

    Darwin made his observations in the 1830's and didn't publish until the 1850's. 20 years of wear on the memory. What they have observed since is the birds beaks go back to the way they were dependent on the rain for that year and the type of seed that is easy to find (you know, bird food). Basically, Darwin made his assumptions on incomplete evidence.

    Evolution is a religion. Anything that explains history when no one was there to write down the observations is a weird religion. Based on a blind faith.

    James004 - your only proof of evolution is one hairy elephant became one w/o hair?? I could evolve one in about an hour with hairclippers. ROFLMAO!

  • Crumps Br0ther Mar 6, 2007

    Ahhh yes organized religion. The cause of and answer to all of lifes problems.

  • rh93 Mar 4, 2007

    I am an 8th grade student at Carnage Middle School and I do not think what Mr. Escamillia did was right; he should have known what the speaker was going to discuss in class. He should have stopped him in advance. I don't believe what the speaker said was correct, and furthermore I do not believe that the speaker has the right to teach others about a religion with false information, in a public school. Freedom of speech is one thing, separation of church and state is another.

  • james004 Mar 4, 2007

    I have a student who was in the Johnston County classroom where the Muslim teacher passed out anti-Christian literature. On one hand, it's kind of funny. If you know religous history, Islam has nothing to give a follower moreso than what Christianity can give them. Oh Buddhism, or Judaism....don't people realize all of these religions are just battling for membership, it's like a game!

  • james004 Mar 4, 2007

    Darwin's ideas were originally based on observation and study. Today, evolution has been basically proven using DNA technologies by sampling different species. For instance, the wooly mammoths that were recently found in the Siberian tundra has viable DNA left. And guess what, the modern elephant had evolved from them.

    However, most people don't know this news because the religious right tries to cover things like this up. You certainly won't hear about it on Fox News Channel, for instance.

    By the way, forget about freedom of speech on this WRAL board. If someone posts a really thought provoking comment, they will remove it. Oh well

  • yacs Mar 2, 2007

    Any further questions or points, danhoggard? Please don't attack me any more; I'm not your enemy.

    I'm a moderate, patriotic Christian, in case you still don't get it. I love God and my Savior, but I respect and tolerate other views (as is the law). I also love this country. I support the Bill of Rights. I believe in Freedom of Speech. I believe in Freedom of Religion. I believe in Separation of Church and State. And I believe you are a very mean, angry person; I hope you get your facts straight and your issues worked out.

    Good night, everybody!

  • yacs Mar 2, 2007

    "It's you and the rest of the ACLU Liberal bastards that have filled our courts and ruined our country."

    Wow! I hardly know where to start.

    1) I'm not with the ACLU. I don't even support them. But I'm glad they're there, because they believe in protecting individuals' rights, and there could come a day when you or I might need them to protect ours. Didn't you see that story about the ACLU defending a Christian protester?

    2) I'm not Liberal.

    3) I'm not an illegitimate child, nor a particularly mean person. So I'm certainly not that expletive you used.

    4) I'm not a lawyer and I've never filed a litigation, so no, I haven't filled our courts.

    5) Nobody's ruined this great country of ours. If you don't like it, try living somewhere else for a while; it might help you to appreciate what we have.

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