Florida High School Employee Offended by Bible verse in Co-workers Parking Space
A worker at a Florida high school complained about a co-worker’s personalized parking space with a Bible verse written on it.
According to the Daily Mail, Marina Gentilesco, a Jewish instructional assistant at Wiregrass Ranch High School in Pasco County, Florida, says the verse makes her angry every time she sees it.
The New Testament passage, Philippians 4:13, painted in the spot, states the inspirational line: “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”
Gentilesco, however, argued the message was out of place in an interview with WFLA Channel 8. “You put it on a state-funded property,” she said, “I’m not okay with it.”
“It doesn’t belong there. Anywhere else, it’s not a problem. But it doesn’t belong there.”
The Secular Student Alliance tweeted support for the complaint, calling the quote a “clear violation of the First Amendment.”
In the eyes of Marina Gentilesco, the school employee who complained, the Bible verse not only makes her uncomfortable as a Jew, it is a clear violation of the First Amendment mandate of separation of church and state.https://t.co/KEK2vv2N0p
— Secular Student Alliance (@SecularStudents) November 8, 2022
However, Gentilesco’s complaints come on the heels of a recent Supreme Court case that protected a Football coach’s right to pray on school grounds when he was not speaking as a government employee.
Gentilesco took her complaints to the school principal, who, after consulting with the district, concluded that the message didn’t violate any standards and could stay up.
Pasco County Schools Public Information Officer Stephen Hegarty spoke to WFLA Channel 8.
“It is not a violation. This is personal expression. There is no proselytizing going on. It’s not compelling students to do anything one way or another”
But Gentilesco, whose parents survived the Holocaust, said she takes offense from the passage, telling Fox 59. that she feels that it attacks her as a jew.
“I feel like it’s attacking me as a Jew. It brings me to the verge of tears, because it brings me back to the six million that perished because of our faith — because we’re Jews.”
Hegarty stressed that the message did not relate to classroom instruction.
“It has nothing to do with instruction. It’s just a teacher expressing themselves just like they might wear a crucifix on their shirt. Teachers and students are free to express themselves,”
Some user’s on Twitter ridiculed Gentilesco for her reaction to the inspirational verse.|
Marina Gentilesco you need to seek help for your terminally offended status. If you get trigger by a bible verse, either you have a mental problem or your a demon. Seek help.. SERIOUSLY!!
— Brandy (@Brandy263814411) November 14, 2022
Marina Gentilesco needs to focus on her job. The parking spots are allowed to be decorated w quotes etc by the individual who parks there. There is no proselytizing going on. No one is asking students/staff to believe the quote. It’s like being allowed to wear a cross at work
— Royal Crown News (@RoyalCrown___) November 12, 2022
@JonBrownDC Loved the article on @FoxNews about the “offended” Jewish teacher over the Bible verse. Marina Gentilesco complaining while interviewing with a Star of David necklace. What if that offends someone? The hypocrisy & double standard is beyond humorous.
— Brandon (@tristar20) November 14, 2022
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