Complete Victory Achieved in ACU Lawsuit Against Washington Elementary School District


Following today’s legal settlement with the Washington Elementary School District (WESD), ACU has entered into a new agreement that allows for ACU student teachers to serve in the District that is in all substantive respects identical to the agreement that WESD very publicly terminated in February – except better! The new student placement agreement allows for an additional five years, to be renewed annually, instead of being the final year of the previous 5-year agreement.


In addition to agreeing to allow ACU student teachers back in the district, the WESD is also paying ACU’s attorneys’ fees.


“This is a complete vindication of the rights of our students to be able to participate as student-teachers in a public school district without fear of religious discrimination,” said ACU President Len Munsil. “We obtained everything we wanted in this new agreement, without any sacrifice or compromise to our beliefs and our university’s religious purpose. We look forward to a continued beneficial partnership that serves ACU student-teachers and the students, faculty, and staff of the WESD.”


In light of the favorable settlement, ACU plans to voluntarily dismiss its case in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. ADF attorneys will monitor agreement renewals to ensure the district takes no discriminatory action again in the future.


ACU is grateful to the thousands of supporters who prayed for the University during this battle. The University would also like to extend a special “thank you” to Dean of the Shelly Roden School of Education, Dr. Linnea Lyding, for her role as ACU’s spokesperson in the media, and to Vice President and General Counsel James Griffiths for managing the litigation process with ADF.


“We have used the tagline ‘Courageously Christian’ at ACU to remind us that it will require courage to stand for Christ and biblical truth in a culture that is increasingly hostile,” said President Munsil. “I pray we are all encouraged by this outcome, even as we recognize that our duty is only to be faithful, regardless of the outcome, because ‘victory belongs to the Lord.’”


So today – on this National Day of Prayer – please join Arizona Christian University in thanking God for this successful outcome, and also for this public demonstration to our nation that freedom of religion remains a foundational principle in America.


Press release from Alliance Defending Freedom available here: