They also educated all district employees that the law requires them to allow students this right.
This concession from Broward County Public Schools came after Liberty Institute sent two demand letters and threatened legal action if the school refused to restore Giovanni’s religious rights.
The case received national press coverage from Fox News, the Drudge Report, Breibart.com, and Faith On Trial on Iowa Catholic Radio, as well as flood of support for Giovanni and religious freedom poured in from Americans across the nation.
AN OUTRAGEOUS VIOLATION
In April, Giovanni Rubeo, a fifth-grader from Ft. Lauderdale, FL, was reading his Bible during “free reading time” when he was told by his teacher to “put it on my desk.”
The teacher then informed Giovanni’s father in a phone message that the Bible and “those books”—meaning religious books—were not allowed in “my classroom.” The recorded voicemail awoke millions of Americans to the crisis of religious discrimination in America’s public classrooms.
WILL CONTINUE TO MONITOR SCHOOL DISTRICT
According to Jeremiah Dys, Senior Counsel at Liberty Institute, "Now the Broward County Public Schools says it will allow the Bible as part of the Accelerated Reader Program and recanted what [its spokesperson] said to the Miami Herald and Sun Sentinel on May 6, 2014. We are pleased they are now complying with the law and will allow students to read their Bible during free reading time and within the Accelerated Reader program.”
He continued, “We do not know if the teacher is in trouble with the school district, but we will continue to monitor this school system carefully to ensure that their actions toward student religious liberty continue match their words."
PART OF A WIDER BATTLEThe Rubeos are not alone in their battle to freely live out their faith. Other students are also experiencing infringement of their religious rights, though the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to carry out our faith in our daily lives free from government interference and prohibits government hostility to religion.
You can monitor these issues every Tuesday at 9 & 9 (CDT) on Iowa Catholic Radio, 1150 AM; 88.5 & 94.5 FM and streaming on IowaCatholicRadio.com; and also by following us on Facebook and this blog.