A teacher at a New Jersey School has filed a complaint against the school district for dismissing him because he gave a Bible to a curious student. Walter Tutka, is now suing the school district for religious discrimination, after he claims he was fired for giving a student a Bible.
Tutka was dismissed after the school found him guilty of breaking two rules of the school, which were: distribution of religious literature on school grounds and failure to remain “neutral” when talking about religious literature with students.
Apparently a New Jersey law firm and the Liberty Institute have filed a complaint against the Phillipsburg School District for religious discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Office (EEOC).
Tutka’s attorney, Hiram Sasser said that it was shocking that Tutka has been forced to file a complaint against the school district with the EEOC on the grounds of religious discrimination. He says that suspension and eventual termination are harsh penalties for simply responding to a question from a student.
Apparently, the incident began when the students filed into the school building last October. Tutka says that one student was lagging behind and he said to him, “Just remember, son, the first shall be last but the last shall be first.” Tutka was quoting a sentence from the Bible from Matthew 19:30 and Mark 10:31.
Tutka says that after a few days, the student came to him inquiring where he had gotten the quote from. Tutka then told him that it was from the Bible. Again later, the student questioned him about the verse and this is when Tutka brought out his Bible and showed him where he got the verse from.
According to Tutka, he then asked the student if he had his own Bible and when the student affirmed that he didn’t have one, Tutka gave him a small version of the Bible to keep for himself.
A friend of Tutka, Joe Imhof, said that Tutka only gave the student his Bible because he didn’t have one and he had shown an interest in having one. Tutka said that later in October, he was informed by Superintendent George Chando that he would be recommending his termination because of what he did. He was later fired in January, according to Tutka.
Imhof, who is a fellow Gideon with Tutka said that the school has basically said, “God, we don’t want you in this school.”