The Bible will remain in Flagler County school libraries.
Palm Coast resident Bob Gordon challenged the Bible’s availability in Flagler Schools’ media centers in June. He claimed the Bible is not appropriate for school libraries because of passages that reference “rape, incest, prostitution, bestiality, etc.”
Flagler Schools Superintendent LaShakia Moore sent an email to Gordon on Oct. 30 telling him that after reviewing information from the Florida Department of Education, “It is determined that the Bible is appropriate for inclusion in our media centers. There will be no further reviews of this objection.”
She added that the Bible is not only available in school media centers but it is an approved resource in some courses.
Gordon had appealed a district review rejecting his challenge.
In an email sent to the Observer, Gordon said that after a previous conversation with Moore, he “expected more clarity as to exactly why the Bible was being held to a higher standard.”
According to Section 1003.45 of the Florida Statutes, school districts may use “an objective study of the Bible and of religion” in course studies. Portions of the Bible are used in the state’s B.E.S.T. Standards for English Language Arts.
Gordon said his contention is “that the mere presence of the Bible in a library, absent an actual secular/objective course does not satisfy 1003.45 and does not allow for making the Bible immune to the full book challenge process … which in my case has been totally ignored.”
According to a DOE memo sent to school districts, a parent who disagrees with a district school board decision of a challenge may request a special magistrate who would hear the objection and recommend a resolution to the State Board of Education.
But Gordon, who is not a parent of a Flagler County student, said, “It appears that I am precluded from any additional appeals to the state Special Magistrate since only a ‘parent’ is entitled to do that, even though a county resident can challenge a book.”