The Wake County school board has refused to reverse the transfer of a former Enloe High School teacher who invited to his class a speaker who denounced Islam as a religion of violence.
The board announced late Tuesday evening that it was upholding Superintendent Del Burns' decision to reassign Robert Escamilla from Enloe to Mary Phillips High School, an alternative school. Escamilla had filed a grievance, heard by the board Monday, against the transfer and the reprimand Burns had put in his file.
Board members cited both the incident involving the guest speaker and what they called "serious issues regarding Mr. Escamilla's teaching performance."
Board members also voted to release information from Escamilla's confidential personnel file to explain their decision. The file will be available for inspection at 9 a.m. today at the school district's offices.
Board members cited an exemption that allows personnel information to be released if it is essential to maintaining the integrity of the board.
"Given the level of misinformation being presented to the public by Mr. Escamilla and his representatives, this board felt it was absolutely necessary to take the steps to protect our integrity," said Rosa Gill, chairwoman of the school board, in a prepared statement. "This information will demonstrate to our community that the investigation into the situation involving Mr. Escamilla was thorough and fair and the actions of the superintendent and principal were justified." . . .
In February, Escamilla got permission from the school to invite Kamil Solomon, an Egyptian-born Christian who lives in Raleigh, to speak to his class on world religions and the Bible in history. Solomon, a Christian evangelist, also spoke with several other social studies and English classes, reaching about 300 Enloe students.
"If it's so deplorable that he should have stopped, why didn't they say anything about the other teachers?" Strickland said.
Solomon said he was persecuted for his religious beliefs by the Egyptian government. He also denounced Islam as a religion of violence and distributed pamphlets. One called the Prophet Muhammad a "criminal," "demon possessed" and "inspired by Satan." Another was titled "Do Not Marry A Muslim Man."
Some parents and the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a national Muslim advocacy group, complained about Solomon's remarks. So did the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. (MORE)