A 12-year-old student in Florida’s Park Lakes Elementary School was recently reprimanded by his activist teacher for reading a Bible during free time.
FoxNews.com reports that Giovanni Rubeo was ordered by his teacher – Swornia Thomas – to dial his home phone number on the classroom phone, so she could report the “offense” to Rubeo’s parents.
And in case the behavior of the activist-masquerading-as-an-educator wasn’t offensive enough, this all took place in front of Rubeo’s classmates, no doubt with the intention of embarrassing and humiliating the boy.
With help from The Liberty Institute, Rubeo’s parents released a recording of Thomas’ April 8 message.
“I noticed that he has a book – a religious book – in the classroom,” Thomas said in the recording. “He’s not permitted to read those books in my classroom.”
First, Thomas incorrectly identifies herself as the owner of the classroom. That classroom – and the school it’s a part of – belongs to the taxpayers of the Broward County School District. Thomas is merely the taxpayers’ employee, and nothing more.
The second point is also the point of The Liberty Institute – the legal firm that’s representing the Rubeo family: A student’s right to practice his religion (in a non-disruptive manner) does not end when he walks through the school doors.
As such, Liberty Institute attorneys are “demanding that Giovanni be allowed to read his Bible during free reading time,” FoxNews.com reports. “They also want the school to issue a written apology to the boy.”
After first choosing to hide under their desks in fear of the controversy, Broward County school leaders are now affirming that students have the right to “read the Bible, or any other religious book, during free time,” CBS Miami reports.