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FEDERAL SUIT TARGETS SCHOOL AFTER IT CONFISCATES BIBLE

A federal lawsuit filed Monday claims that a Florida public elementary school violated a 10-year-old student's constitutional rights by confiscating his Bible.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages and asks the court to issue an order allowing the child to read his Bible during recess and before class.

Lawyers claim Joshua Burton, a fourth-grader at Columbia Elementary School in suburban Orlando, had his Bible seized several times by a teacher.

In one alleged incident, the boy was sent to the principal's office for having his Bible on top of his desk with other school books.

"He has the right to read his Bible to himself during non-classtime, and to read it with someone else during non-classtime," said Mat Staver, an attorney for the Liberty Council, a conservative religious group that filed the lawsuit.

The boy's father is a real estate agent and a lay minister at a non-denominational Christian church, Staver said.

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