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‘Bring Your Bible to School Day’ event at Duval County middle school sparks concern

A post made on the LaVilla School of the Arts’ Facebook page about “Bring Your Bible to School Day” is raising concerns, and some have been voicing those concerns on social media. Some parents said that by allowing the event, they feel the school is making many students feel left out. Some say they’ve gone as far as filing discrimination complaints.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A post made on the LaVilla School of the Arts’ Facebook page about “Bring Your Bible to School Day” is raising concerns, and some have been voicing those concerns on social media.

Some parents said that by allowing the event, they feel the school is making many students feel left out. Some say they’ve gone as far as filing discrimination complaints.

As written on Bring Your Bible To School Day’s website: “Bring Your Bible to School Day is a nationwide, student-led movement to read and treasure Scripture as God’s Holy Word, to encourage others with the hope we have in Christ Jesus, and to celebrate our religious freedoms in the United States.”

Sophia Driscoll is a sixth grade student of the school. She said the event has been promoted for the past week or so over the school’s intercom system.

“I think it’s a nice thing. I don’t have a Bible, and I know a lot of people who also don’t,” Driscoll said.

The school says it’s a nationwide movement to celebrate religious freedom and encourage faith.

“They say about 500,000 students have done it, too,” said Natasha Landa, a seventh-grader.

But the idea has sparked a social media firestorm. Some parents say the event is not inclusive for children of all faiths.

“I do wonder about inclusivity in those kinds of things. Should everyone have their own day or is it a matter of a teacher who represents that faith and students feel they belong there,” said Cory Driscoll, whose daughter attends the school.

Other parents, like Carlos Landa -- whose daughter also attends the school -- support the event.

“I’m OK with it, but at the same time I respect what other people think about,” Landa said.

According to Duval County Public Schools, the district is not hosting the event and it’s an activity of a student club at Lavilla. In a statement, it said in part: ”this is a good example of protected, First Amendment student expression.”

Lianna Knight, the school’s principal, told News4Jax that the post made on the Facebook page was from the club and not the entire school.


About the Author:

Renee Beninate is a Florida native and award-winning reporter who joined the News4Jax team in June 2021.