Religious Liberty Battle in NJ

By  Liberty Institute, Special for   USDR

Liberty Institute on behalf of its client Walt Tutka, the former Phillipsburg School District school teacher unjustly fired for providing a Bible to a student, applauds the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) determination on the merits finding that “there is reasonable cause to believe that Respondent [thePhillipsburg School District] has discriminated against Charging Party [Mr. Tutka] on the basis of religion and retaliation.” Further, the EEOC orders the school district to join with Tutka and itself to find an “acceptable conciliation agreement” to eliminate its unlawful employment practices, or face other court enforced alternatives. To review the EEOC’S latest  letter.

“The EEOC thoroughly investigated this matter and found that Walt Tutka is a victim of religious discrimination and retaliation and should receive justice,” said Hiram Sasser, Director of Litigation for Liberty  Institute.

Mr. Tutka said, “I am so thankful that the EEOC has sided with me after finally reviewing my case, and I look forward to a positive resolution with the school district that allows me to return to serving our nation’s most valuable resource, our  students.”

On January 14, 2013, the Philipsburg School District terminated substitute teacher Walt Tutka after he handed a Bible to a student. Mr. Tutka told a student in line, “The first shall be last and the last shall be first.” When the student repeatedly asked Mr. Tutka where the phrase was from, he pulled out his pocket Bible and showed the student the text. After further questioning, Mr. Tutka gave the student his own copy on Oct. 15, 2012, and his last day to substitute in Phillipsburg School District was three days later. After retaining the services of Liberty Institute on April 10, 2013, Mr. Tutka filed a charge of religious discrimination with EEOC relating to his termination by Phillipsburg School  District.

Liberty Institute is a nonprofit legal group dedicated to defending and restoring religious liberty across America — in our schools, for our churches and throughout the public arena. Liberty’s vision is to reestablish religious liberty in accordance with the principles of our Founding Fathers. For information, visit

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