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.