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.”

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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.|


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