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Former Enloe Teacher Sues Wake School Board

Posted November 16, 2007
Updated November 17, 2007

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— A former Enloe High School teacher at the center of a controversy over an anti-Muslim speaker filed a lawsuit against the Wake County school board Friday, his spokesperson said.

In February, Robert Escamilla was suspended with pay after he invited Kamil Solomon, head of Kamil International Ministries, to his class. Solomon handed out pamphlets entitled, "Why Women Should Not Marry Muslims."

The school board said Escamilla knew Solomon's guest-speaking engagement would denigrate Islam and was not acceptable. Escamilla was later reassigned to Mary E. Phillips High School, an alternative school.

On Oct. 17, school board members released part of Escamilla's personnel record, because members said they felt they needed to protect their integrity. The records both praised and criticized his teaching ability.

Escamilla, who taught at Enloe for 18 years, also fought to get a 12-page reprimand removed from his employment file, but the school board denied the request.

In his lawsuit, Escamilla claims the school board violated his constitutional rights when they disciplined him, and he wants his transfer to the alternative school rescinded.

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  • WRALblows Nov 19, 2007

    "Injecting religion into government is a poison that will eventually kill both."-elcid89

    Like what's happening at this very moment? To deny that there is some percentage of "us against them" sentiment between our Conservative Christian Administration and Muslims in the current middle east conflicts, including Iraq, would be willfully ignorant.

  • elcid89 Nov 19, 2007

    "I'll look for a couple of examples of states ruling on constitutionality and get those for you. Believe it was before 1803. Going to bed now though."

    Of course it was before 1803. Marbury stopped that trend in its tracks, as it was indirectly intended to do. That doctrine of judicial review has stood for over 200 years. Certainly you don't mean to dismantle it as well.

  • elcid89 Nov 19, 2007

    "Read Church of Holy Trinity v. US 1892 which SCOTUS in it's majority opinion said that "US was Chirstian."

    Somewhat curious case to be citing, as Brewer's language in this case regarding religion can almost certainly be viewed as obiter dicta. It deal solely with immigration law and established no perquisites for religion in having used it to extemporaneously validate its conclusions. Interestingly, the common consensus regarding this case is that it serves to characterize religious institutions as outside of the review of governmental policy, thereby preserving the doctrine of separation admirably.

    Certainly you didn't mean to do that.

  • elcid89 Nov 19, 2007

    "I was originally referring to Everson V SBoE in 1947. Chief justice and several other judges were also virulently anti-catholic based on comments and letters they wrote(like the Jefferson letter maybe?)."

    Yet in Zorach v. Clauson, the same court upheld the constitutionality of releasing students from public school in order that they might attend religious education with the systems acting in concert to assure compliance with compulsory attendance. The majority of the institutions affected in that ruling were Catholic. The difference was in the lack of public support, through either facilities or funding, that characterized the scenarios in both Everson and McCollum. It's somewhat narrow to attribute the rulings to anti-Catholic sentiment when subsequent rulings arguably supported Catholicism. It's especially telling that the lone Catholic justice serving on the court at that time, Murphy, joined the majority opinions in both Everson and McCollum.

  • lizard Nov 18, 2007

    It goes back before the ratification of the constitution actually. Creating a day of thanksgiving in 1777 for the war the then congress dedicated it to Jesus Christ.

    I was originally referring to Everson V SBoE in 1947. Chief justice and several other judges were also virulently anti-catholic based on comments and letters they wrote(like the Jefferson letter maybe?).

    Read Church of Holy Trinity v. US 1892 which SCOTUS in it's majority opinion said that "US was Chirstian."

    I'll look for a couple of examples of states ruling on constitutionality and get those for you. Believe it was before 1803. Going to bed now though.

  • elcid89 Nov 18, 2007

    "BTW,,, the separation language from the court in the 40's (not for two centuries as you indicate) was intended to help keep the Catholics off the court. Many of the justices were anti-catholic. Didn't work did it?"

    Precedent addressing this concept goes back far further than 1948, to which I assume you are referring to McCollum V. Board. That case had absolutely nothing to do with Catholics. I believe you are confusing the rhetoric from the Teddy Roosevelt and Ulysses Grant commentaries. Grant especially WAS violently anti-Catholic, but again, that had nothing to do with SCOTUS.

    The history of the 14th Amendment, post ratification, has been the projection of its protections to Constitutionally guaranteed rights at the federal level down onto the state level. This history regarding the 1st Amendment begins as early as 1896, but takes off in earnest beginning with McCollum.

    Expand on your contention that the decisions in the 40s were motivated by anti-Catholic sentiments please.

  • elcid89 Nov 18, 2007

    "You sort of made my point, elcid. The argument has been going on since the constitution was ratified. The states behavior indicated otherwise. Some states have declared some laws in the past as unconstitutional before Marbury v. Madison. After that, they rolled over in my opinion."

    Marbury was decided in 1803, 12 years after the addition of the Bill of Rights. Must have been a busy 12 years to hear your version of it.

    "Last big challenge (sort of) was the War between the states. It is my understanding that one of the reasons that the southern generals weren't tried for treason was because it was taught at West Point (one of the premier schools with constitutional law classes) that seccession was OK. Seccession is a form of declaring something unconstitutional, if you think about it."

    What does this have to do with this topic?

  • lizard Nov 18, 2007

    You sort of made my point, elcid. The argument has been going on since the constitution was ratified. The states behavior indicated otherwise. Some states have declared some laws in the past as unconstitutional before Marbury v. Madison. After that, they rolled over in my opinion.

    Last big challenge (sort of) was the War between the states. It is my understanding that one of the reasons that the southern generals weren't tried for treason was because it was taught at West Point (one of the premier schools with constitutional law classes) that seccession was OK. Seccession is a form of declaring something unconstitutional, if you think about it.

    Seculor Humanism is also a religion according to SCOTUS. (1961) It is widely taught in our school systems.

    BTW,,, the separation language from the court in the 40's (not for two centuries as you indicate) was intended to help keep the Catholics off the court. Many of the justices were anti-catholic. Didn't work did it?

  • elcid89 Nov 18, 2007

    "elcid89, Your posts are the most intelligent and well thought out that I have ever read on this subject. Well done, Sir!"

    I must defer to the ample volumes of debate on this very topic over the course of the history of this nation. Virtually from the moment that the Bill of Rights was ratified, this argument has been playing out. Typically for those subservient to religion, they see the prohibitions in the 1st Amendment as applicable to all sects but their own. Guided by their certainty of the rectitude of their own particular belief system, they find the exclusion puzzling and seem incapable of grasping that the spirit of the amendment is to protect all from the exhortations and judgments of some.

    After all, religion is a subjective matter, and government must remain objective to function in a free civil society. Injecting religion into government is a poison that will eventually kill both. I'm with Jefferson and Madison on this one, and defer to their wisdom on the matter.

  • elcid89 Nov 18, 2007

    "The states ratified the constitution. Their behavior thereafter reflects their interpretation. Deists may have existed but were not the major influencing force that ya'll make them out to be. Many states prohibit hiring employees that are not Christian as an example. (Rarely if ever enforced)"

    States do not interpret the Constitution. They are bound by it and by the interpretations of SCOTUS, in its role as the final arbiter of the meaning of the language in the Constitution itself.

    The same states that ratified the Constitution subjugated themselves to it in the Supremacy clause by doing so. Those same states then further subjugated and limited themselves in ratifying the 14th Amendment.

    Those states do not enforce such laws because to do so would be to invite constitutional challenge and defeat in a court of law. Bemoan the situation all you wish. It remains, nonetheless, settled law, and the status of your push to combine remains as it always has: failed and powerless.

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