Effective this week, Walt Tutka was reinstated as a substitute teacher in New Jersey’s Phillipsburg School District. This comes from a settlement with the district after a long legal battle involving Tutka giving a Bible to a student who requested one. Tutka was fired by the school district in 2013 over the incident.
But now he is overjoyed that he is returning to educating young people, and that his religious liberty rights and that of other teachers have been vindicated by the settlement.
First Liberty Institute represented Mr. Tutka.
The nationally prominent case appeared headed for a lawsuit at one point, with unusual alliances forming as attorneys and officials took stands over Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which forbids religious discrimination against public employees.
The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) under the Obama administration sided with First Liberty and Tutka. The EEOC, after reviewing the facts and First Liberty’s case for Mr. Tutka’s rights, issued a Final Determination that Philipsburg School District violated the law when it fired Walt Tutka.