Tutka says that last fall, he commented to a student, who happened to be standing first in line, that “The first shall be the last, and the last shall be the first.”
The saying is taken from a common theme in the Bible – those who are humble will be rewarded. For example, verses at Matthew 19:30 and Mark 10:31 show Jesus as stating these words in following up a lesson regarding humility and making sacrifices.
Tutka’s complaint says that in response to the student “repeatedly” inquiring as to his remark, Tutka gave him a pocket-sized Bible after asking the student if he owned one.
On Oct. 18 of last year, Superintendent George Chando informed Tutka that he was recommending the teacher’s termination because of “illicit Bible conveyance.” Tutka was thereafter fired in January of this year.
“I believe that I have been discriminated against in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and retaliated against regarding same,” Tutka’s complaint reads.
The Phillipsburg School District has not responded. Superintendent Chando told The Warren Reporter that he is “unable to comment at this time.”