PASCO COUNTY (FLV) – Marina Gentilesco, who works at Wiregrass Ranch High School in Pasco County, Florida, expressed why she was offended by a Bible verse painted on her co-worker’s parking space.
“I feel like it’s attacking me as a Jew,” said Gentilesco.
Gentilesco said the verse reminds her of stories she was told while growing up of her parents in the Holocaust.
“It brings me to the verge of tears, because it brings me back to the 6 million that perished,” said Gentlesco. “Six million perished because of our faith — because we’re Jews.”
Gentilesco said she wouldn’t mind if it were at a church but doesn’t think it belongs on “state-funded” property.
She said she has been angered every day she passed by her co-worker’s parking spot that is painted with a quote from Philippians 4:13 from the New Testament, which reads, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”
Gentilesco took her concerns to the school’s principal, who then went to the district. Pasco County Schools decided against ordering the removal of the Bible verse.
The district stated it would not remove the Bible verse because there is no proselytization, and school workers are allowed to express themselves, citing freedom of expression.
“It has nothing to do with instruction,” said Stephen Hegarty, Pasco County Schools Public Information Officer. “It’s just a teacher expressing themselves just like they might wear a crucifix on their shirt.”
Hegarty said that “there is no proselytizing going on” and that the parking spot is “not compelling students to do anything one way or the other.”
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