An elementary school teacher in South Florida attempted to stop a student from reading his Bible in her classroom. Surprisingly, the Broward County School Board defended the student's right to read his Bible in class. The teacher, S. Thomas, declared a free reading time in which students were told to spend time reading their book of choice. A young man in the class took out his Bible and began to read. When the teacher saw that the child was reading a Bible, she instructed him to put the Bible on her desk, as it was not appropriate reading material for school. Apparently, this was not the first time the student was instructed to not read his Bible in class, as the boy's father directed him to not give up his Bible if so instructed. The student informed the teacher that his father told him not to comply with her orders to not read the Bible. The teacher then instructed the boy to call his father, from the classroom, in front of the class. Ms. Thomas left a voice message for the boy's father which stated in part, "I noticed he has a book, a religious book, in the classroom. He is not permitted to read those books in my classroom(emphasis added)."
The boy's father took this situation to the superintendent of schools. Surprisingly, the school board sided with the boy and released a statement that religious books were permitted at school and could be read before school, after school and during free reading periods in the classroom. It is refreshing to see a religious liberty issue going the right way, especially in the classroom. What is disturbing is the mindset of Ms. Thomas, an educator who wants to restrict religious freedom in her classroom. This was not about school policy as much as it is about a teacher who is anti-christian.
The attitude of Ms. Thomas, and teachers like her, only serves to alienate people of faith from the public school system and reinforces the resolve of those who have chosen to homeschool their children. The school board permits the reading of religious materials, but many of the teachers in the classroom are philosophically opposed to the Bible and it's moral commandments. This opposition creates a hostile environment for children of faith. Just try bringing up Biblical creation in a biology class and see what happens.
This is a victory for the church, but as we win little battles here and there, we are losing the culture war. Popular culture defies Biblical teachings in music, movies and print media. Many comedy shows such as SNL and Family Guy blatantly mock Christ and christian values. Raunchy comedy seems to be the biggest blockbuster hits in the box office and people who claim faith happily throw their money to sin in a movie theater on Saturday night and go to church on Sunday. Until the Church takes a stand against sin, sin will continue to steamroll over society.
Paul Rubeo, the father who stood up for his son's right to read the Bible in school, should be commended for taking a stand for righteousness. Paul Rubeo is a true American hero and hopefully he will inspire other believers to speak out against sin and injustice. Thank God for Paul Rubeo and his brave son.