Despite emails and testimony to the contrary, the District is claiming that Villalobos was not fired because of the religious music but for reasons such as pupil attendance class scheduling. Yet, the school is inconsistently claiming that it was justified in firing Villalobos to prevent a violation of the separation of church and state. “It is clearly constitutional and legal for a teacher to use both religious and secular music as a part of instruction,” commented Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute.
Villalobos’ lead attorney in the case is Karen Milam, PJI Senior Counsel who directs the southern California office. Assisting her in the trial is PJI attorney Matthew McReynolds. The trial, now in its second week, will likely go to the jury on Thursday. California law which allows instructors to use non-proselytizing references to religion while teaching, specifically identifies dance instruction as an acceptable subject for use of such references.