Teacher Defends Use of Anti-Islam Speaker

June 13, 2007

Author: Yonat Shimron

Source: The Charlotte Observer


RALEIGH --The former Enloe High School history teacher who invited a Christian evangelist to speak to his students is not taking his reprimand quietly.

Robert Escamilla said the Wake County School System squelched free speech and academic freedom, and he is finding a growing group of supporters.

In the days since he was reassigned to Mary Phillips High School, 100 of his former students have signed a petition to have him reinstated at Enloe. The chairwoman of Enloe's social studies department penned a forceful letter to the school board calling him a "sacrificial lamb."

Escamilla, 49, maintains he did nothing wrong when he invited Kamil Solomon, an Egyptian-born Christian who lives in Raleigh, to speak to 300 or so Enloe students about his persecution at the hands of the Egyptian government. On the contrary, Escamilla said, he thought the visit by the evangelist was an educational exercise that exposed his students to different opinions and challenged them to form their own views.