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Enloe Students Plan Protest to Support Suspended Teacher

Posted May 31, 2007
Updated June 1, 2007

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— A group of Enloe High School students are planning a silent protest Friday in support of a suspended teacher who taught social studies.

But some say teacher Robert Escamilla's lucky to still have a job.

Virginia Dresser and some of her Enloe classmates are on a personal crusade to support their former teacher.

Escamilla was suspended with pay after he invited the leader of a Christian organization to a class who handed out pamphlets - critical of Islam. He has since been transferred from Enloe to an alternative high school because of the February incident.

Dresser calls Escamilla a respected teacher. She and her friends want him back at Enloe.

“He understands that we can decide what’s right and wrong for ourselves,” Dresser said. “We can understand bias. We can recognize bias. He knows we’re intelligent enough to make our own decisions.”

Tariq Butt is the parent of an Enloe student who brought attention to the controversial speaker. Butt identifies with the Muslim Faith. After watching a recent interview with Escamilla on WRAL, Butt said it appeared Escamilla missed the point about the pain his actions caused.

“The issue isn’t about talking about religion at school but trashing another religion and promoting another religion,” But said. “The fact that he did not understand made me feel like he’s lucky he’s still teaching and he hasn’t been fired.”

Wake County Schools officials said Escamilla crossed the line and that the speaker was "unacceptable.”

Escamilla contends he doesn't try to force his Christian beliefs on his students. He thinks school leaders want to put a muzzle on free speech. Escamilla's attorney said they are considering legal action.

153 Comments

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  • aquamama Jun 2, 2007

    "(To the enviro wackos : Just remember - they killed all the trees in the middle east.)"

    That was climate change and desertification.

  • Myra Jun 2, 2007

    FEDERAL LAW: Teachers and school administrators, when acting in those capacities, are representatives of the state, and, in those capacities, are themselves prohibited from encouraging or soliciting student religious or anti-religious activity. Similarly, when acting in their official capacities, teachers may not engage in religious activities with their students.

    FEDERAL LAW: Outsiders may not be given access to the classroom to distribute religious or anti-religious literature.

    FEDERAL LAW: Students may express their religious beliefs in the form of reports, homework and artwork, and such expressions are constitutionally protected. Teachers may not reject or correct such submissions simply because they include a religious symbol or address religious themes.

    FEDERAL LAW: Students have the right to distribute religious literature to their schoolmates, subject to those reasonable time, place, and manner or other constitutionally- acceptable restrictions imposed.

  • elcid89 Jun 2, 2007

    Once again, this is pages and pages of whining arguing a settled matter. Religion can not be taught by public schools in any manner other than that of a historical and literary perspective, and even then only if all religions are afforded equal consideration. You guys are beating a dead horse with these endless postings about how things should be.

    How things are, once again, is this: You can't do it, and if you try, we'll sue you every time you do until you realize that it isn't going to be tolerated.

  • allahisamoongod Jun 2, 2007

    Read about Islam's Allah being a pagan war- and moon-god in Yoel Natan's Moon-o-theism book online at Google Print. See http:\\www.yoel.info for the links or click here:
    http://books.google.com/books?q=Moon-o-theism&btnG=Search+Books&as_brr=0

    Read the 164 Jihad verses in the Koran:
    http://www.angelfire.com/moon/yoelnatan/koranwarpassages.htm

  • Steve Crisp Jun 1, 2007

    You know what else is interestintg about the 10 Commandments? They ware given to the Jews to follow and only the Jews; no one else was instructed to live by them, though they are extremely excellent guidelines to live by.

    In v. 2, God indicated who He was speaking to when He said "who brought your out of Egypt." The text reinforces that in v. 12 stating, "so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you." That "land" is modern day Israel, a land set aside for Jewish people, no one else -- IF the Jews will keep God's commandments. If not, the implication is that they lose it.

    But don't forget the predicate for this whole event. 19:3-6. Too long to repeat hear, but makes it absolutely clear that these laws are for the Jews.

  • zcorvettesalez Jun 1, 2007

    "To many Americans, religion is a very important part of their life and they are interested in how religiosity influences candidates," said John Green, a University of Akron political science professor and senior fellow at the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life and SUNDAYSAILOR did not like this. LOL

  • Longshanks Jun 1, 2007

    People in the armed forces have fought and died for our right to freedom of speech and other inalienable rights. We should be able to discuss religion in a high school social studies class without siding with one religion or another and with no fear of punishment. Maybe the literature was not appropriate, and I'm sure some will argue "separation of church and state", but our "inalienable" rights are being infringed upon from every direction. When will it stop? I think he meant nothing by it except to show his class one side of religion from another. If not, he should be reprimanded. Otherwise, I think it furthers education, and adds another topic of thought for todays teens so they can become more independent and make choices that benefit themselves and their lives. Come on people, this is the United States of America. Stop being the United States of the Offended.

  • patriotsrevenge Jun 1, 2007

    gafan001, I know we were arguing pretty hard earlier. First, thank you for your service, I truly appreciate what you are doing. I would urge you to explore the reason for your service, you are obviously patriotic, but it's your duty to protect freedom for all Americans, not just those with similar belief to you. I'm not trying to preach, and again I appreciate your service.

  • patriotsrevenge Jun 1, 2007

    Thank you BillO, I've been screaming about the 10 Commandments argument for ages now. It's a ridiculous argument that our laws are based on these commandments. They are not.

  • Not_So_Dumb Jun 1, 2007

    djofraleigh - Do you really believes that Burns' platitudes mean anything?

    The real issue is that no one is looking at what is being taught.

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