Supporters of the Arizona school board member who went viral for voicing her opposition to hiring teachers from a Christian university in order to “stand with” the LGBTQ community while wearing fake cat ears are making headlines again for a vulgar display put on in front of Christian demonstrators and children.
Tamillia Valenzuela, who identifies as a “bilingual, disabled, neurodivergent Queer Black Latina” according to the Daily Mail, sits on the board of the Washington Elementary School District, which has been the subject of protests since the board began lobbying to stop their student-teacher program with Arizona Christian University.
In footage captured by Turning Point USA's Frontlines from Thursday, supporters of Valenzuela — also wearing cat ears — could be seen twerking and slapping their butts in a hypersexualized manner in the faces of Christians who had come out to protest against the discontinuation of the program.
The video shows families and at least one small child watching the events playing out before them.
According to Frontlines reporter Kalen D'Almeida, the board unanimously ended the program that hired teachers from the Christian university after Valenzuela “spearheaded” the movement “to protect LGBT students.”
“If Christian teachers existing make you all feel unsafe because [of] their righteous beliefs, what's next and what message are you sending to the children who are Christian students?” he asked during the meeting before the vote. “Are you guys going to purge them? Because how are you going to get their Christian beliefs out of their head?… You think by removing the teachers, that somehow all of a sudden that their deeply-held beliefs are going to be relinquished?”
It was March 3 when Valenzuela originally went viral for speaking out against the student-teacher program before the board, saying that the school district shouldn't hire teachers with Christian values all while wearing cat ears on her head.
Her comments claiming that “biblically minded” educators do not “hold space” for LGBTQ students sparked outrage, leading to the protest outside of the board meeting on Thursday where Christians poured out to have their voices heard.
“In a public school everyone must be able to exist whether we like it or not. The message this sends to families in that district is that their children's Christian faith is something to be purged—just like the ACU teachers,” D'Almeida said.
After the unanimous vote, the Alliance Defending Freedom announced a lawsuit against the district “for unconstitutional discrimination against Christian student-teachers.”
“The school board made it clear they were ending the 10-year partnership with Arizona Christian University due to ACU's religious beliefs,” the nonprofit organization wrote on Twitter.
Valenzuela responded to the backlash.