Teacher fired for giving Bible to student reinstated

A teacher fired by an American school after he gave a Bible to one of his students has been given his job back.

Walt Tutka, a substitute teacher at a New Jersey school, happened to quote Matthew 20:16: “So the last will be first, and the first will be last” to the student.

When the student repeatedly asked to see where the verse came from, Tutka gave him a Bible of his own.


Tutka was first suspended, then eventually fired from his job following a vote by the board of the unnamed school.

First Liberty Institute, a religious liberty organisation, supported him in his case.

It filed an official complaint on his behalf to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The EEOC ruled in Tutka’s favour and found that the school district had discriminated against him on the “basis of religion and retaliation”.

Mission accomplished

After more than three years away from teaching, a final resolution was reached last week.

The Phillipsburg School District agreed to a settlement which allows the teacher to have his job back.

Hiram Sasser of First Liberty Institute said: “We are really pleased we accomplished the mission we set out to achieve”.

“We always knew Walt complied with all school district policies and federal laws, the EEOC agreed, and now Walt is returning to his service to the community in Philipsburg”, he added.

Disciplinary action

Last year in Cornwall, a school apologised to a member of staff after disciplining her for expressing Christian views on same-sex relationships.

Victoria Allen, a 51-year-old teaching assistant, was asked what she thought of gay marriage during an English lesson at Brannel School in St Austell.

She responded by saying she did not approve of same-sex relationships, and that she was unhappy at how the biblical symbol of the rainbow is being used to represent gay rights.


Allen was given a written warning for not following the school’s ‘equal opportunities policy’, and a subsequent complaint by a parent led to disciplinary action being taken.

The teaching assistant threatened to take the school to court but the dispute was settled out of court.

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