The Bible Is Latest Challenged Book In Escambia Schools; Superintendent Says It’s Educational And Allowed

October 12, 2022

The latest challenged book in Escambia County schools is the Bible, but district officials said that restrictions wwere lifted today without a formal review because the Bible is legally approved as educational material in Florida.

Late last month, we told you about a Northview High School teacher that called for the immediate removal of over 115 books from school libraries until they can be reviewed because she said they are inappropriate in schools, mostly due to sexual language and graphic drawings that she believes actually violate Florida’s obscenity laws.

The number of challenged books in the district stood at 128 as of Tuesday with the addition of the Bible after a request for reconsideration was filed by Sarah Holland. The form filed by Holland does not identify her further.

According to Holland in her written challenge, the Bible “promotes sexism, sex, violence, genocide, slavery, rape and beastilaity. Includes examples of eating childre. Causes Religious Trauma Syndrome.”

She said the purpose of the Bible is to “indoctrinate children in Christianity” and noted that she had read the Bible “throughout my life”.

“The Bible is allowed in schools and has a place in education according to Florida statutes,” Escambia County School Superintendent Dr. Tim Smith told late Tuesday afternoon.

A Florida statute entitled “Permitting study of the Bible and religion; requiring a moment of silence” states in part “The district school board may install in the public schools in the district a secular program of education including, but not limited to, an objective study of the Bible and of religion.”

“The Escambia County Public Schools will not move forward with the reconsideration of the Bible as a library or instructional resource, and will immediately return all copies to the general collections in district libraries,” the district said Wednesday morning.

Bill Slayton, Escambia County School Board District 5 member, said on Tuesday, “The Bible is a textbook protected by state law. Please allow the staff to explore and find a good solution to this. It’s (the restriction is) going to be removed.”

An October 9 email obtained by from district Coordinator of Media Services Michelle White instructed media specialists to place the status of the Bible and 10 other newly challenged titles to “restricted”. It also instructed teachers to place their classroom copies into their school library’s restricted area by the end of day on October 13.

On September 30, Smith announced the implementation of a “Restricted Section” in school libraries. Books in question will be housed in the section, and parents will be able to opt-in their students to have access to the restricted book as they are being reviewed.


57 Responses to “The Bible Is Latest Challenged Book In Escambia Schools; Superintendent Says It’s Educational And Allowed”

  1. Robert on October 15th, 2022 10:38 am

    Insanity and hatred is the new world order…Does the Bible not teach kindness and love and forgiveness also?? Sometimes you just have to take the bad with the good and move on.. Just stop trying to cancel everything because people don’t agree with you.

  2. sam on October 15th, 2022 7:14 am

    could see this one coming. if you bring up religion you will get a wide variety of beliefs and non beliefs. everyone has an opinion when the subject is brought up.

  3. Bob on October 14th, 2022 9:09 pm

    Again, this is really simple.

    If we’re banning all books that depict violence, racism, sex, drug use, or misogyny, then the Bible belongs on the chopping block too.

    If we are making exceptions for books that contain graphic content because “it’s important to understand context” and “”it does have some valuable lessons”, then that same exception should be made for other books like The Handmaid’s Tale, Finding Alaska, Perks of Being a Wallflower, and the other books that are being reviewed.

  4. Yobrogro144 on October 14th, 2022 6:12 pm

    The promotion of fertile, perpetual relations with one’s creator should be held in higher regard than what banishing God’s word represents. As Christians we believe in not judging a person. That person’s actions are a whole different matter. Part of our children’s education is developing self esteem, which is a process enforced by doing good, as Jesus did. Believing in Jesus is one in the same with doing good for man and mankind, but more so it is passing along the spirit, of the Spirit. No knowledge is higher in importance than that of the path to eternal life. If a child seeks that knowledge, who is he that should stand in the way of that desire and for what purpose in doing so can he face his Maker to excuse his own actions? Then will my soul be denied for standing by shamelessly and allowing such?

  5. BT on October 14th, 2022 3:45 pm

    Tell the truth. A lot of people are being dishonest about why they want the bible in the schools or not.

    If allowed, all religious and antireligious books should be allowed. There should be no favoritism granted to Christianity.

  6. SMH… on October 14th, 2022 3:21 am

    What a sad state the people of this world is in. I can only imagine how often Jesus has to intercede on our behalf by stating the words of Luke 23:34, just like he did on behalf of those when he was crucified..

  7. biscuit on October 13th, 2022 9:59 pm

    Everybody talks to god. Either while your living, or after, you will talk to God Almighty. And you will explain how you lived your life. Look up on Youtube…Aaron Lewis. Everybody talks to God. Thank you Chris, my friend, for sharing this song with me & my family. Sooooo True!!!!!!

  8. Connie Chamberlin on October 13th, 2022 5:42 pm

    @mnon – There are Christians on the right AND the left, both liberals and conservatives. You are doing us all a disservice by suggesting otherwise. This issue was never about books. It’s about a minority of people demanding considerations they do not want to extend to others. That is what provoked the idea about banning The Bible. I respect that some parents don’t want their kids to access certain books and the district should try to accommodate them. However, according to our local news channel, an overwhelming number of viewers are against keeping those books out of schools.

  9. exactly on October 13th, 2022 12:13 pm

    To Dumbfounded:


  10. David on October 13th, 2022 9:13 am

    I want to thank the school board for their decision to allow the Bible to remain in the schools. I saw all the comments against their decision and I wondered what the reaction would be if Gone with the Wind had been banned for the violence of the time in American history it portrayed?

  11. John Bone Jones on October 13th, 2022 8:14 am

    This live you live, right now, is your heaven. Be your own savior.

  12. Barbara on October 13th, 2022 7:11 am

    You that have hate the Bible I hope you’ll read it one day before its too late. It’s the only Book that’ll keep you out of hell. Don’t be scared of truth. Why will you let the devil rule you and laugh at you because your obedient to him he hates you.

  13. Robert Bruner on October 13th, 2022 4:52 am

    There are many different religions in North Escambia. We have to respect them all! There are Baptist, Methodists, Episcopal, Church of God, Assembly of God and I could go on. LOL

  14. Jason on October 12th, 2022 9:28 pm

    Shes worried about what the Bible promotes. Have you seen what Tik Tok promotes!!!

  15. Susan on October 12th, 2022 9:25 pm

    I am all for it if they give the kids other religious books to compare it to such as the English versions of the Torah and Koran etc. You can’t just single out one religion, many students that go to our schools now come from many backgrounds and they should also be represented. Personally I think having religious books in school is a rabbit hole, most likely why most schools do not keep bibles in there libraries. Want to read a bible go to church or a thrift shop or buy you a new one heck theirs an app for that.

  16. Good grief on October 12th, 2022 9:12 pm

    Thank you @Supporting Docs

  17. Joe moose on October 12th, 2022 9:02 pm

    Behold, the consequences of your own actions

  18. Justin on October 12th, 2022 7:56 pm

    TO EVERYONE! Keep on living the way you want. I choose to follow Jesus as my savior from eternal hell. I choose to walk with him daily, and asked God to live through me, for HIM, not me. There is a GOD. Deal with it.

  19. jt on October 12th, 2022 7:53 pm

    This is what is wrong with the schools and the world now. Trying to keep anything with morals or responsibility for actions away.

  20. Hmph on October 12th, 2022 6:33 pm

    @mnon Almost every other major religion has text that holds major significance. You are right to say the Bible holds significance in history (Both American and Globally), however, the “Other books” most certainly do.

  21. Dumbfounded on October 12th, 2022 6:26 pm

    I find this particularly interesting, as it states that the Bible is protected under Religious Study and Research – however, nobody is questioning why the Bible is being mentioned throughout K12 Education. I would understand certain instances, such as World History talking about World Religions, but what significance does the Bible hold for a child’s standard educational path? To deny students the knowledge that books contain sexual, racial, and opposing themes denies them that of the real world, and ultimately sets them up for failure.
    Overcensorship isn’t about protection, it’s about control – Censoring books like To Kill a Mockingbird, Fahrenheit 451, and 1984 stop kids from learning about social history, and forming their own opinions. You can’t censor literature, and then not expect to see the card turned onto your own narrative.
    The Bible is a piece of significant religious literature, one that should not be incorporated into the educational narrative – the public school system is to serve all, from every background. Showing inherent favoritism or bias not only separates those who are non-Christian, but continues the historic villainization of minorities.
    I’m not saying this book should be banned, and this one shouldn’t – I’m saying we need to promote quality education for our youth and allow them to explore and formulate opinions on religion, legislation, literature, etc.

  22. Not a Question on October 12th, 2022 5:47 pm

    When God is taken out of our lives, and our children’s lives, when we deny that He exists, or try to repress His Word, we will certainly lose His Blessings as is evident by looking around our country, our states and our communities today where this is already being done. Let’s take God out of school and then let transgenders lead story time. What a sinful, shameful mess! We will certainly pay for this. Nuff said.

  23. Bill T on October 12th, 2022 5:26 pm

    So to all the spirit of the lord is available to you in the Bible it is quoted Behold For I Come Quickly!!! Now we ain’t talking about a neighbor or a friend !!!!! We are taking about eternal life !!! If you don’t believe it watch and see how fast you burn

  24. Bob on October 12th, 2022 4:35 pm

    @Supporting Docs

    You’re wrong, but sure, let’s play that game.

    If you don’t believe in the free exercise clause or separation of church and state, does that mean you support the federal government taxing churches?

  25. John Bone Jones on October 12th, 2022 3:35 pm

    @Supporting Docs, please read comments below about the establishment clause in a little thing called the Bill of Rights.

  26. Lance on October 12th, 2022 3:22 pm

    They need to get their priorities straight. The vulgar the kids watch on the internet is probably 10x Worse than what is in those books. The kids should be required to read at the library at the school without the interference of electronic devices. Cell phones and the internet are a much bigger problem than these books. Start scrutinizing what comes in through the school internet system before getting upset about the books.

  27. Supporting Docs on October 12th, 2022 2:15 pm

    @ Good Grief

    You won’t find it in the constitution. Many people mistakenly believe there is something in our founding documents about separation of church and state but there is not. The term separation of church a state comes from a letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote that could be called a supporting document to the constitution. The interesting part is that the term was referring to keep the state out of the church as had become an issue with the Church of England. People like to try to quote it as keeping the church out of the state but that was never the intent.

  28. Wayne on October 12th, 2022 2:10 pm

    Its odd, 72 years old,went through school and graduated.
    Said the lords prayer and pledged allegiance to the flag every morning at school before starting our lessons.
    I prospered never hurt anyone,didnt hear voices.
    In short I turned out quite well.
    We have free will and choice not a dictatorship by of from anyone.
    When you gave all the groups or people who try and dictate what everyone else should think or do..therein lies the problem.
    All the killings in schools along with all the other elements that make society today are distractions that children dont need.
    The bible or any other religion is fine, as long as it dont impede learning about the world and performing a job to take care of family.
    Over 55 years ago we were focused on math english, etc…
    Not wortying about which bathroom to go into, not focused on burning books,publicly osterizing people.
    Kick politics out of school and get back to what education tax dollars are for.
    I guess everyone in my age group and way before had better moral values and ethics than they do today.
    When you fight yourself…you will never ever win.
    You cripple society.
    And you never happy until its all burnt down.

  29. here ya go on October 12th, 2022 1:19 pm

    To Good grief:
    Separation of Church and State is a phrase that refers to the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The phrase dates back to the early days of U.S. history, and Thomas Jefferson referred to the First Amendment as creating a “wall of separation” between church and state as the third president of the U.S. The term is also often employed in court cases. For example, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black famously stated in Everson v. Board of Education that “[t]he First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state,” and “[t]hat wall must be kept high and impregnable.”
    The first clause in the Bill of Rights states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”

  30. My2Cents on October 12th, 2022 12:50 pm

    The bible shouldn’t be taught. Look at all of the different Christian religions…The person teaching it can twist it to meet their agenda. Let religion be taught at home and/or in churches.

  31. Bob on October 12th, 2022 12:39 pm

    @Good Grief

    The very first clause of the Bill of Rights is that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”.

    This country was founded on religious freedom. You are free to believe whatever you want. But as soon as you start using the government to enforce your religion on others, you are violating their right to freely practice their faith.

  32. Bob on October 12th, 2022 12:36 pm

    This is calling out the hypocrisy from so many members of our community.

    I don’t think we should be banning books just because they talk about sex, drugs, or murder. But if we are? The Bible includes all three of those, so it should be first on the list.

    If you think books that have merit deserve an exception, even if they contain more mature themes? Cool, then why are we talking about banning Looking for Alaska, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Perks of Being a Wallflower?

    This was never about protecting kids from adult content. It was always about Mrs Baggett using her position in a school to indoctrinate our kids with her political and religious beliefs.

  33. SD on October 12th, 2022 12:35 pm


    Take the following statute to the school, and then take some time to familiarize yourself with Florida law in the classroom. Students are free to worship, discuss, turn in assignments, etc.

    Per Section 1002.206, Florida Statutes, known as the “Florida Student and School Personnel Religious Liberties Act,” the Department of Education’s Model Policy on religious expression in public schools is as follows:
    It is the policy of the [Insert County] School District that the district will not discriminate against a student, parent, or school personnel on the basis of a religious viewpoint or religious expression.

    Student Expression of Religious Viewpoints
    1. [Insert County] School District will treat a student’s voluntary expression of a religious viewpoint on an otherwise permissible subject in the same manner that a school district treats a student’s voluntary expression of a secular viewpoint.
    2. A student may express his or her religious beliefs in coursework, artwork, and other written and oral assignments free from discrimination. A student’s homework and classroom assignments shall be evaluated, regardless of their religious content, based on expected academic standards relating to the course curriculum and requirements.
    3. A student may not be penalized or rewarded based on the religious content of his or her work if the coursework, artwork, or other written or oral assignments require a student’s viewpoint to be expressed.

  34. Southend Lurker on October 12th, 2022 12:18 pm

    Good Grief: The separation of religion and government mandated under the establishment clause and the free exercise clause of the U.S. Constitution that forbids governmental establishment or preference of a religion and that preserves religious freedom from governmental intrusion.

  35. Josh Jones on October 12th, 2022 12:13 pm

    @Good grief

    Google is your friend.

    Separation of church and state was discussed by Thomas Jefferson (Google him – one of the early American heroes) to explain the 1st Amendment clause “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

    He wanted to “build a wall of separation between Church & State” stating that “religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God”.

  36. John Bone Jones on October 12th, 2022 11:49 am

    @Good Grief… from the Bill of Rights…

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”

  37. t on October 12th, 2022 11:43 am

    If everyone is going to get all huffy and puffy about what their kids read. Lets all get huffy and puffy about the movies they watch, what is shown on television, and what they are listening to on the radio. That stuff is way more graphic than a book.
    The only reason kids in high school know where the library is, is because they have to get their computers from there or they have to read a book that is required for a class. Before chrome books were brought into the schools some kids never set foot in the library.
    Come on now….if we going to get rid of one offending thing lets get rid of the movies, shows, and music too.

  38. JOHN OTNES on October 12th, 2022 11:36 am


  39. Kane on October 12th, 2022 11:14 am

    Here we are, our ancestors fought and gave their lives to throw off the chains of religious persecution and here we are picking them up out of the mud and dirt and shackling ourselves to them again. And before you tell me “You’re free to pray as you wish” is the Quran in those schools? How about the Satanic Bible will I find it in those school libraires? No, I don’t think I will school is for education not indoctrination. If you are for that bible being in the school, then you are the same as the teachers that are talking about sexuality to 3rd graders. Religion should be taught in your church in your home not in your school.

  40. Good grief on October 12th, 2022 10:51 am

    Satan is hard at work here. I have never seen or read anything where there is such a thing as “separation of church and state”. If anyone can find it please link it here. I’ve always heard it but have never been able to find it.

  41. ME on October 12th, 2022 10:47 am

    To seriously?
    You want the Bible removed but have no problem with the other books that were in question? I guess you have no problem with being a hypocrite either huh? That’s exactly what you are insinuating. And if you think children are better off reading books in regards to pedophilia, rape, incest, drugs, etc.. you may want to pick up a bible yourself and read it and repent because there is nothing normal about thinking this way. We as parents are trying to protect our children from people who think this way.

  42. Ashlee on October 12th, 2022 10:16 am

    This is crazy, but not shocking. My daughter goes to school in Pace and she’s in middle school. She wrote an poem for an assignment and it was about God and they made her rewrite it because that topic wasn’t allowed!!!! She rewrote it without using obvious words that would let it that it was about God and the teacher STILL denied her poem!! I was completely blown away! What is this world coming to? How can you deny a child to speak freely!!!

  43. Concerned Citizen on October 12th, 2022 9:33 am

    The Holy Bible literally tells you how to live your life and be righteous. It also tells you how to raise and discipline your kids. That is the one book that should always be available.

  44. David Greene on October 12th, 2022 9:08 am

    Welcome to the Slippery Slope.

  45. EMD on October 12th, 2022 9:01 am

    If ones heart is geared towards instead of away from truth, one would know in their heart that The Bible contains the truth and instructions for life, like the owners manual for man made machinery…… except that God is The Creator of man and Creation in the beginning, and was perfect. His manual tells us what we were, what we became, and how to get back to our original condition. Jesus said, ” I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to The Father, but by Me.” It is written that, “No other name is given under heaven by which we must be saved except the name of Jesus.” I would say that The Bible is the most important book ever written, for it was written by the inspiration of The Holy Spirit through men. We are lost if we do not perceive that. Every thing is confusion without the application to the heart …of that Book.

  46. Jason on October 12th, 2022 8:34 am

    Only in Escambia County does crap like this go on. Things like this is why Escambia County is the laughing stock of the State.

  47. John Bone Jones on October 12th, 2022 8:13 am

    As an atheist, I don’t have an issue with the Bible being in schools. I don’t have a problem with those other controversial books either, as long as parents are cool with their children reading them. Requiring parents’ permission might not be a bad idea, though.

  48. Wow on October 12th, 2022 7:25 am

    Hell why not have a book burning too there Hitler Jr. The Bible does not PROMOTE any of those things. It explains the consequences of such actions and PROMOTES living of decent life. When will it sink in that the schools are there to educate, too give all the information it can that allows the individual to make their own Informed decisions…not raise your children..THAT’S YOUR JOB AS A PARENT.

  49. Anne on October 12th, 2022 7:14 am

    I’d sure like to know how many times the Bible is checked out in one year. Many of us will pray about this situation for years to come.

  50. Reason on October 12th, 2022 7:13 am

    Oh, no surprise the bible is ok but books that have real world meaning and understanding are baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad.

    If religious books are allowed most other books should be too. Its the students choice what they want to read.

  51. RW on October 12th, 2022 6:52 am


  52. sam on October 12th, 2022 6:31 am

    if there is one book that needs to be in any library it would be the Bible.

  53. bob in baker on October 12th, 2022 6:27 am

    How about the Torah and Koran? Are they also protected under Florida law?

  54. seriously? on October 12th, 2022 6:23 am

    So I guess separation of church and state mean nothing?! Get religion out of the public schools entirely!! It’s always been an option before or after school, but I, personally, would not want to see our next generation dumbed down with fiction taught as fact, especially of this sort! It is, quite frankly, embarrassing!

  55. D on October 12th, 2022 6:14 am

    This lady is obviously against any book that don’t fit what she thinks and believes. So maybe it’s not the books.
    Plus the Bible does not promote any of her issues.
    She is just wanting it to fit her issues.

  56. Robert Bruner on October 12th, 2022 4:45 am

    27 The king replied, “If the Lord does not help you, where can I get help for you? From the threshing floor? From the winepress?” 28 Then he asked her, “What’s the matter?”

    She answered, “This woman said to me, ‘Give up your son so we may eat him today, and tomorrow we’ll eat my son.’ 29 So we cooked my son and ate him. The next day I said to her, ‘Give up your son so we may eat him,’ but she had hidden him.”

    30 When the king heard the woman’s words, he tore his robes. As he went along the wall, the people looked, and they saw that, under his robes, he had sackcloth on his body. 31 He said, “May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if the head of Elisha son of Shaphat remains on his shoulders today!”

    32 Now Elisha was sitting in his house, and the elders were sitting with him. The king sent a messenger ahead, but before he arrived, Elisha said to the elders, “Don’t you see how this murderer is sending someone to cut off my head? Look, when the messenger comes, shut the door and hold it shut against him. Is not the sound of his master’s footsteps behind him?” 33 While he was still talking to them, the messenger came down to him.

    The king said, “This disaster is from the Lord. Why should I wait for the Lord any longer?”

    Sounds like graphic pedicide to me. Appropriate for K-5? Probably not for my child but I guess I am not a hypocrite.

  57. mnon on October 12th, 2022 3:55 am

    I was waiting for a leftist to do that when I heard the other story. I said “You watch some liberal is going to try and get the Bible pulled now.” Here’s the thing Mrs Miss Holland or whatever you call yourself, the Bible has a historical significance… Those other books do not. Maybe if you were better educated and not spiteful you’d know that.