Even when threatened with legal action, two Arizona school board members refuse to be silent about their Christian faith and won’t stop quoting Bible verses during school board meetings.
Rebecca Hill and Heather Rooks serve on the board for Peoria Unified School District (PUSD) and have vocally opposed gender ideology in public education.
Hill criticized the board’s decision to allow transgender students to use the bathroom corresponding with their gender identity, saying it should be a “biological issue.” However, the board voted 3-2 in favor of identity-based bathroom use.
Hill, who homeschooled her own children, expressed grave concerns about PUSD’s trajectory later at the same meeting.
“I think that our district is going down a very dark road, morally,” she said. “I don’t endorse PUSD anymore. I would advise that parents take the ability at this time to take their vouchers, which have been given to them, and use them in private schools, use them on online, home school your kid.”
The Arizona Education Association, the state’s largest teachers’ union, then started a petition demanding Hill resign.
The petition claims Hill’s Christian beliefs and endorsement of school choice made her “unfit to continue your duties to serve the Peoria Unified School District.”
Rooks also testified before the state legislature against the sexualization of children in public schools.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a letter to PUSD in May threatening legal action if the district didn’t prevent Rook’s and Hill’s religious speech.
“Stop board members from using their government positions to promote their religious beliefs,” the letter read.
According to an unnamed PUSD employee, both women regularly quoted Bible verses during board meetings, which FFRF claims violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
In a thinly veiled attempt to bully PUSD into submission, the letter also details legal action FFRF took against another school district, which cost the district more than $275,000.
“Please inform us in writing at your earliest convenience with an assurance that this won’t happen again in the future,” the letter concluded.
But despite a warning from the district’s legal team, both women refused to back down and continued citing Scripture at the June board meeting, local media reported.
“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm,” Rooks read at the meeting, “for God can be trusted to keep his promise.”