A Florida school district is defending a teacher who came under fire because she painted a Bible verse on her assigned parking spot. Click here to get Todd’s daily podcast.
The unidentified teacher at Wiregrass Ranch High School painted Philippians 4:13 on the parking space. It read, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”
Instructional assistant Marina Gentilesco took great offense at the Bible verse and complained to school leaders.
“I feel like it’s attacking me as a Jew,” she told television station WFLA.
She said the Bible verse reminded her of the Holocaust during World War II.
“it brings me on the verge of tears because it brings me back to the six million that perished,” she told the television station. “Six million perished because of our faith – because we’re Jews.”
Gentilesco did not explain how the Bible passage from the New Testament was akin to killing Jews.
“You put it on a state-funded property,” she told the television station. “I’m not okay with it.”
But it turns out the Pasco County School District is perfectly okay with the Bible verse.
The school district allows teachers and students to personalize their parking spots provided the messages are not in poor taste. And provided they cover the costs.
“There is no proselytizing going on,” school spokesman Stephen Hegarty told WFLA. “It’s not compelling students to do anything one way or the other.”
And according to the U.S. Constitution, teachers and students are free to express themselves on school property.
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“It has nothing to do with instruction,” he said. “It’s just a teacher expressing themselves just like they might wear a crucifix on their shirt.”
What a silly controversy. If you don’t like the parking spot, go park someplace else.
My sympathies are for the unnamed school staffer. Fortunately, Christ will give her the strength to deal with perpetually offended tattletales.