Schools Forbid Selling Religion

May 24, 2007

Author: Yonat Shimron

Source: News & Observer

From now on, guest speakers in the Wake County School System must sign a document agreeing not to denigrate any culture, race, gender, national origin or religion.

That new rule was made in response to an incident earlier this year in which a guest speaker at Enloe High School denigrated Islam and urged students to shun Muslims.

The new rule grows out of a three-month investigation into an incident last February in which an Enloe High School social studies teacher, Robert Escamilla, invited a Christian evangelist to his classrooms. The evangelist, Kamil Solomon of Raleigh, asked students to embrace Christianity and distributed pamphlets calling the Prophet Muhammad a "criminal," "demon possessed" and "inspired by Satan."

Solomon's visit led to outrage in the Muslim community and to a 90-day paid suspension for Escamilla. On Wednesday, Superintendent Del Burns apologized about Solomon's visit and said Escamilla would be reassigned to another school. Burns did not name Escamilla's new school.

"On behalf of the Wake County School System I wish to offer my apology," Burns said. "It was not acceptable and it will not be tolerated."