Walter Tutka of New Jersey is a substitute teacher in Phillipsburg, New Jersey, who was recently removed from his school district’s approved substitutes list for reciting a Bible verse to a student and then giving him a Bible. The Bible verse Tutka quoted to the student, however, did not come from Leviticus or Lamentations, instead it was Matthew 20:16 which says “So the last will be first, and the first last.” Not a very controversial verse, I would say. One student kept asking where the quote came from and the teacher eventually showed him in his copy of the New Testament. The student then said he did not own a copy of the Bible so Tutka offered him his copy, the student received it but later returned it.
The school district, however, did not take kindly to Tutka’s gesture. The district said Tutka broke two policies for all teachers: distributing religious literature and not remaining neutral in religious conversation. His supporters say that the Bible given to the student was not “distribution” but rather a gift, also that the district is breaking its own policy against religious discrimination by sanctioning Tutka. The district has only terminated him for the rest of the year, there is no telling whether he could apply again the next school year.
Read more: huffingtonpost.com