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Teacher Tells Student He Can't Read the Bible in Classroom
Townhall.com ^ | 5-5-2014 | Todd Starnes

Posted on 05/05/2014 4:11:06 PM PDT by servo1969

A Florida school teacher humiliated a 12-year-old boy in front of an entire class after she caught him reading the Bible during free reading time.

The teacher, at Park Lakes Elementary School in Fort Lauderdale, ordered Giovanni Rubeo to pick up the telephone on her desk and call his parents.

As the other students watched, the teacher left a terse message on the family’s answering machine.

“I noticed that he has a book – a religious book – in the classroom,” she said on the recording. “He’s not permitted to read those books in my classroom.”

The Liberty Institute, a legal firm that specializes in religious liberty issues, is now representing the Rubeo family. They are demanding that Giovanni be allowed to read his Bible during free reading time. They also want the school to issue a written apology to the boy.

“This is the most shocking piece of evidence I’ve seen in the 12 years of religious liberty work that I’ve been doing,” said Hiram Sasser, the Liberty Institute’s director of litigation.

I reached out to the superintendent of Broward County Schools as well as the chairman of the school board. Neither returned my messages.

Last Christmas Giovanni received a Bible from his local church. It quickly became a prized possession and one of his favorite books to read.

“I love reading my Bible any time that I’m allowed to read it,” the boy told me in a telephone conservation.

So that’s why Giovanni brought his Bible to school -- to read his Bible during a 90-minute session designated for free reading.

In February and March, the boy’s teacher ordered him to stop reading his Bible. During those instances, the child complied with his teacher’s demands. But, when his father discovered what happened, he began investigating and determined the school was violating his son’s Constitutional rights.

From that point on, Rubeo told his son that if his teacher or anyone else at the school told him he could not read his Bible during free reading time, he was to politely ask the teacher to call home. And that’s what happened on April 8. When the children pulled out their books, the teacher immediately targeted Giovanni.

“When I was reading my Bible, she said, ‘Giovanni, what book is that?’ I was a little afraid,” he told me. “She told me to put it on her desk and I said no.”

When Giovanni conveyed his father’s instructions, she ordered him to walk to the front of the class and call home – in front of the entire class. Rubeo was not at home, so the teacher left a message – of which I have a copy.

“I don’t understand why a school would want to keep a child from reading his Bible during free reading time,” he told me. “And I’ve never gotten an answer to that question.”

After he received the teacher’s message, Rubeo contacted the school. He said the principal said she would have to turn the matter over to their legal department. Rubeo then wrote a letter to the school ordering them to cease and desist the harassment of his son.

“This it to give you written notice to stop breaking the law & violating my son Giovanni Rubeo’s constitution first amendment right of free speech and religious expression,” the letter states. “Do NOT tell my son he cannot read his Bible during free reading hours during class or any time when students are allowed to read books of their choice.”

Liberty Institute provided me with a response from Cynthia Dias, the principal of the school. “You child is permitted to read the Bible before school, after school and during lunch, in accordance to the law,” the letter states.

This, friends, is what we call parsing words. Notice that the principal avoided the issue. This is about letting a child read a Bible during free reading time.

Sasser said the school violated the boy’s constitutional rights. He also accused them of viewpoint discrimination, restricting the free exercise of religion and engaging in hostility towards religion.

He cited U.S. Department of Education guidance that allows for students to read their Bibles during non-instructional time. It reads in part, "...students students may read their Bibles or other scriptures, say grace before meals, and pray or study religious materials with fellow students during recess, the lunch hour, or other noninstructional time to the same extent that they may engage in nonreligious activities."

“This is a pretty serious situation,” Sasser said. As that audio recording indicates"there’s a big problem in our public schools."

So this is what it’s come to, folks. School teachers are now publicly shaming boys and girls who read the Bible. Had the kid the kid been reading "Fifty Shades of Gray," he probably would’ve been given a gold star.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: bible; classroom; fortlauderdale; student; teacher
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I'll say it nice and slow...

What...Is...The...Teacher's...Name?

1 posted on 05/05/2014 4:11:06 PM PDT by servo1969
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To: servo1969

CLEAR Constitutional violation. Free Exercise Clause vi-o-la-ted.


2 posted on 05/05/2014 4:13:24 PM PDT by shalom aleichem
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To: servo1969

Exactly and also, the demand should be that she have to apologize to the boy in front of the class and then go to sensitivity training designed by the boy’s pastor/priest.


3 posted on 05/05/2014 4:16:15 PM PDT by Mercat
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To: servo1969
Got it-

http://miami.cbslocal.com/2014/05/05/teachers-ban-on-reading-bibles-in-class-sparks-protest-change/

http://parklakes.browardschools.com/index.php?option=com_contact&view=contact&id=3598%3Aswornia-d-thomas&catid=5502%3A5th-grade&Itemid=11512

Swornia D. Thomas


4 posted on 05/05/2014 4:17:05 PM PDT by servo1969
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To: servo1969

What...Is...The...Teacher’s...Name?


It was mentioned here earlier today:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3152333/posts


5 posted on 05/05/2014 4:17:12 PM PDT by boycott
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To: servo1969

CLEAR Constitutional violation. Free Exercise Clause vi-o-la-ted.


6 posted on 05/05/2014 4:17:21 PM PDT by shalom aleichem
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To: servo1969

A very important question, that.


7 posted on 05/05/2014 4:17:36 PM PDT by Lurker (Violence is rarely the answer. But when it is it is the only answer.)
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To: servo1969
Sue that b!tch into the poorhouse.

Not the Christian thing to do, but boy, what a temptation.

8 posted on 05/05/2014 4:19:57 PM PDT by backwoods-engineer (Blog: www.BackwoodsEngineer.com)
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To: servo1969
Wow !
Demon eyes!
9 posted on 05/05/2014 4:21:14 PM PDT by Yosemitest (It's Simple ! Fight, ... or Die !)
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To: shalom aleichem

Swornia Thomas!


10 posted on 05/05/2014 4:21:45 PM PDT by namvolunteer (Obama says the US is subservient to the UN and the Constitution does not apply. That is treason.r)
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To: servo1969
Are you surprised that she's black and scary looking? This beast screamed that her rights were being violated back in the 60s, and now SHE”s doin’ the violating.

Give em’ hell, Mr. Rubio, and protect your sons’ rights!

11 posted on 05/05/2014 4:21:50 PM PDT by itssme
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To: Lurker
Swornia? I have to admit I have never seen this name before, and that is an understatement.
12 posted on 05/05/2014 4:22:05 PM PDT by Fungi
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To: servo1969

Parents need to take back their tax-funded schools. Their children are depending on them.


13 posted on 05/05/2014 4:24:46 PM PDT by lakecumberlandvet (Appeasement never works.)
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To: namvolunteer
What the hell is a “swornia?” Stupid names from a culture that has no culture, except for rap, of course.
14 posted on 05/05/2014 4:25:15 PM PDT by itssme
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To: servo1969

There is no greater ancient historical account than what one would find in the Bible — nothing comes even close. There’s not a credible scholar that would deny that Jesus walked this earth. Why are students not allowed to read our greatest source of ancient history? Yes, I certainly understand the Bible is a lot more than history. It certainly is to me.

The Bible is the best selling book of all time. Students aren’t allowed to read the best selling book of all time? Why do these so-called educators want to keep students ignorant?


15 posted on 05/05/2014 4:25:18 PM PDT by boycott
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To: boycott

“Why do these so-called educators want to keep students ignorant?”

A damned good question, there. Why indeed?


16 posted on 05/05/2014 4:26:25 PM PDT by Lurker (Violence is rarely the answer. But when it is it is the only answer.)
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To: Lurker

People who don’t know the past make great suckers in the future.


17 posted on 05/05/2014 4:28:29 PM PDT by servo1969
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To: namvolunteer

She looks like a real brainy teacher-not.


18 posted on 05/05/2014 4:29:47 PM PDT by dandiegirl
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To: itssme
What the hell is a “swornia?”

Sore knee ah...


19 posted on 05/05/2014 4:33:59 PM PDT by USS Alaska (Exterminate the terrorist savages, everywhere.)
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To: servo1969

“He’s not permitted to read those books in my classroom.”

A teacher is an agent of the school board. The school board sets the rules on that particular topic. The idiocy of some few teachers is beyond comprehension. You can bet, that teacher has other things going on, agenda wise.


20 posted on 05/05/2014 4:35:18 PM PDT by odawg
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To: servo1969

Besides the spiritual benefit the boy will get from reading the Bible, he is exposing himself one of the great works of literature. Later on, when he reads other literature, he will pick up on biblical references that other kids won’t have a clue about. He is likely to become a better reader and a better writer. And he will become aware of one of the cornerstones of our civilization.

That used to be what education was about.

God bless him.


21 posted on 05/05/2014 4:35:52 PM PDT by Southside_Chicago_Republican (If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.)
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To: servo1969

Just - WOW!


22 posted on 05/05/2014 4:36:02 PM PDT by ForYourChildren (Christian Education [ RomanRoadsMedia.com - a classical Christian approach to homeschool])
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To: Yosemitest

“You can’t read a Bible because Rev Martin Luther King read a Bible”.


23 posted on 05/05/2014 4:38:21 PM PDT by AppyPappy
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To: servo1969

C O M M I E B I T C H. Am I close?


24 posted on 05/05/2014 4:39:35 PM PDT by HANG THE EXPENSE (Life's tough.It's tougher when you're stupid.)
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To: servo1969

Let’s see..
55-59 yrs old
Hates Bible.
Owns property in PLANTATION, FL.
Total Value of Property....$191,780
Sq. Ft.......1465
Year Built...1961
Last sale date.....09/29/1995

Source - Broward County, FL property tax assessment data, Fort Lauderdale, Googled


25 posted on 05/05/2014 4:40:58 PM PDT by servo1969
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To: USS Alaska
Momma had a sore knee while giving birth, and so the babe was named Swornia...that's how they give out names.
26 posted on 05/05/2014 4:42:47 PM PDT by itssme
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To: HANG THE EXPENSE

She’s a demonRat alright. Voter record says so.


27 posted on 05/05/2014 4:43:20 PM PDT by getmeouttaPalmBeachCounty_FL (Impeach the Liar.)
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To: All

http://flvoters.com/by_number/1014/15367.html


28 posted on 05/05/2014 4:45:05 PM PDT by getmeouttaPalmBeachCounty_FL (Impeach the Liar.)
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To: servo1969

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/3152237/posts

24,BE THERE OR BE SQUARE—13 MINUTES


29 posted on 05/05/2014 4:46:25 PM PDT by rodguy911 (FreeRepublic:Land of the Free because of the Brave--Sarah Palin our secret weapon)
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To: getmeouttaPalmBeachCounty_FL

Hey, I was trying to be nice...

Oh, well.

http://www.whitepages.com/name/Swornia-D-Thomas/Plantation-FL/4cmcxhi


30 posted on 05/05/2014 4:46:55 PM PDT by servo1969
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To: servo1969

Just curious-—why would the stats on her property matter?

.


31 posted on 05/05/2014 4:47:01 PM PDT by Mears
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To: Mears

They don’t matter at all.
They are however a matter of public record.
As is her harassment of small helpless children’s religious views.


32 posted on 05/05/2014 4:53:12 PM PDT by servo1969
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To: servo1969

“I noticed that he has a book – a religious book – in the classroom,” she said on the recording. “He’s not permitted to read those books in my classroom.”

********************************************************
Power Trip. Big Bully teacher pushing little kid around. School Board needs to address her big ego - she thinks she sets the rules instead of them.

Wonder what would have happened, if that had been a little kid reading the Koran? If she had treated such a child the same way she treated this child, you can bet that the reaction of the parents wouldn’t have been a polite letter.


33 posted on 05/05/2014 4:54:04 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: servo1969

This teacher should be fired - unfortunately she will just be rehired in a neighboring district in a school run by a fellow minion of satan.


34 posted on 05/05/2014 4:57:43 PM PDT by Some Fat Guy in L.A. (Still bitterly clinging to rational thought despite it's unfashionability)
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To: servo1969

Id like to see that “educator” tell Abdul he cant read his koran...


35 posted on 05/05/2014 5:02:09 PM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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To: servo1969
""...students students may read their Bibles or other scriptures, say grace before meals, and pray or study religious materials with fellow students during recess, the lunch hour, or other noninstructional time to the same extent that they may engage in nonreligious activities."

Is free-reading time noninstructional time? Millions of dollars will be spent on attorneys to answer that question.

36 posted on 05/05/2014 5:11:01 PM PDT by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
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To: Lurker

Why do they keep the students ignorant?

So they can become good dependable Dummycrat voters in the future.


37 posted on 05/05/2014 5:13:22 PM PDT by stbdside
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To: servo1969

“Owns property in PLANTATION, FL.”

How ironic, further proof the Dems have locked up the Plantation, there just is no leaving.


38 posted on 05/05/2014 5:16:58 PM PDT by DAC21
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To: servo1969
a written apology to the boy

Nonsense!

The apology should in person and in front of the boy's parents and the school administrator.

39 posted on 05/05/2014 5:30:46 PM PDT by MosesKnows (Love many, trust few, and always paddle your own canoe.)
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To: Yosemitest

Swornia ..oh....kay

“mam youve violated that young mans constitutionally protected GOD GIVEN RIGHTS...do you understand that?

Blink Once for No...Twice for yes!...


40 posted on 05/05/2014 5:42:08 PM PDT by MeshugeMikey ( "Never, never, never give up". Winston Churchill)
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To: servo1969

BTTT...


41 posted on 05/05/2014 5:54:37 PM PDT by LowOiL ("Abomination" sure sounds like "ObamaNation" to me.)
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To: servo1969

If she claims to be a Christian, her minister should rebuke her and remind her that jesus says that anyone who offends the faith of a child will face His punishment.

“Whoever shall offend one of these little ones who believes in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged around his neck and he were cast into the sea.” (Mark 9:42). Jesus is most protective of the faith of children, and the ungodly who embarrass them because of their faith will face unmerciful punishment from God.


42 posted on 05/05/2014 6:17:18 PM PDT by txrefugee
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To: gorush
”. . . students students may read their Bibles or other scriptures, say grace before meals, and pray or study religious materials with fellow students during recess, the lunch hour, or other noninstructional time to the same extent that they may engage in nonreligious activities."
Is free-reading time noninstructional time? Millions of dollars will be spent on attorneys to answer that question.
I think that "to the same extent that they may engage in nonreligious activities” should control. If he can read a book about baseball, he can read the bible. IMHO.

43 posted on 05/05/2014 6:22:28 PM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion ("Liberalism” is a conspiracy against the public by wire-service journalism.)
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To: lakecumberlandvet

So socialized education is ok if we control it, but not Obamalinicare? What is with “conservatives” and their love of welfare education and intergenerational theft?


44 posted on 05/05/2014 6:34:55 PM PDT by achilles2000 ("I'll agree to save the whales as long as we can deport the liberals")
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To: txrefugee

Commissioner@fldoe.org

Dear Florida Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart:

I am informing you of the violation of U.S. constitutional rights by Broward County school Park Lakes Elementary teacher Swornia D. Thomas who refused to allow her student, Giovanni Rubeo, to read his Bible during free reading time.

You may think it is none of my business. However, any time the Florida teachers send ignorant students out into our society, it affects me and those I love. Knowledge of U.S. civics is extremely important, as well as the rule of law. Please correct your teacher corps.


45 posted on 05/05/2014 6:39:39 PM PDT by Liberty Wins ( The average lefty is synapse challenged)
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To: txrefugee

Commissioner@fldoe.org

Dear Florida Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart:

I am informing you of the violation of U.S. constitutional rights by Broward County school Park Lakes Elementary teacher Swornia D. Thomas who refused to allow her student, Giovanni Rubeo, to read his Bible during free reading time.

You may think it is none of my business. However, any time the Florida teachers send ignorant students out into our society, it affects me and those I love. Knowledge of U.S. civics is extremely important, as well as the rule of law. Please correct your teacher corps.


46 posted on 05/05/2014 6:39:39 PM PDT by Liberty Wins ( The average lefty is synapse challenged)
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To: servo1969

Is “Swornia” the name this person was given at birth, or did he/she select it in the course of gender reassignment?


47 posted on 05/05/2014 7:01:19 PM PDT by madprof98
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To: servo1969
“She ain’t got nothing to say to you, she ain’t got nothing to say,” responded her husband. “Get me on camera, get the [expletive] out of my yard.”

The kid (as seen on the video) is about 10 zillion times more articulate than the teacher. It's pretty obvious why.

48 posted on 05/05/2014 7:10:39 PM PDT by madprof98
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To: All

Christian taxpayers in the school district need to push back these liberal teachers and administrators at every opportunity. Most will probably not express displeasure because they have become “lukewarm” in their religious beliefs and want to be politically correct to get along.

The children will be watching how this incident plays out.

I seem to recall Jesus had some stern advice to those who would hurt HIS little children.


49 posted on 05/05/2014 7:46:52 PM PDT by Texicanus (Texas, it's a whole 'nother country.)
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To: MosesKnows
The apology should in person and in front of the boy's parents and the school administrator.

AND the entire class.... since that's who the fascist teacher saw fit to try to humiliate the boy in front of.

50 posted on 05/06/2014 5:31:12 AM PDT by MamaTexan (I am a Person as created by the Laws of Nature, not a person as created by the laws of Man)
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