(Fort Lauderdale, FL) A Florida teacher is under for telling students they cannot read religious materials during free reading times at school.
Giovanni Rubeo said he was reading the Bible during free reading time when the teacher made the student come to her desk, and in-front of the class, left a message on his home answering machine.
On the recording, the teacher can be heard saying, “Giovanni called you because I asked him to. I noticed that he had a book, a religious book, in the classroom. He’s not permitted to read those books in my classroom. He said if I told him to put it away, you said not to do that. So please give me a call. I need to have some understanding on direction to him about the book he’s reading opposed to the curriculum for public school. Ms. Swornia Thomas. Thank you. Have a wonderful day. Bye, bye.”
Giovanni told WFOR-TV this wasn’t the first time the teach told him he could not read the book, which was given to him by his church.
“I first started reading a little bit (of the Bible,)” said Rubeo. “Little by little, it started becoming my favorite book to read.”
The Broward School District claimed it was told Giovanni was reading the Bible when he should have been reading an assigned book, not during free-reading time.
The district stressed that any student may read the Bible, or any other religious book, during free time.
A WFOR-TV reporter tried to get a comment from the teacher but her husband answered the door, “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.”
A similar case was reported last month in Cypress, Texas and once again involved free reading time.