Local News

Local Professors: Wake Schools Should Enforce Church-State Separation

Posted March 9, 2007 8:10 p.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2007 8:25 p.m. EST

— Nineteen local college professors on Friday sent a letter to the Wake County Board of Education criticizing a teacher's decision to invite a speaker who handed out anti-Islam literature to students.

Robert Escamilla, a teacher at Enloe High School in Raleigh, was suspended last week after reports that he invited evangelist Kamil Solomon to talk with students on Feb. 16.

Students said Solomon, who heads the Kamil International Ministries Organization, handed out a pamphlet entitled, “Why Women Should Not Marry Muslims.”

"We … wholeheartedly subscribe, and adhere, to the principle that we should not allow the faith of our students to be impacted by the preferences of their teachers," the professors, most of who were from North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill..

The letter applauded the school system's response and urged officials to enforce rules separating state and religion without violating either teachers' or students' civil rights.

The writers also requested a meeting with the school board. The school board had not yet responded to the request Friday afternoon.

The school system has said Escamilla will remain on paid suspension while the matter is being investigated.