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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

This coffee controversy is not about Starbucks



Our story this week about Idlewild Baptist Church's evolving relationship with the Hillsborough County school district generated a lot of reaction on both sides of the issue. It is, after all, November.

One email arrived from a school district employee who was concerned that the church was handing out free coffee coupons during staff gatherings at Maniscalco Elementary School. There was no commentary, just this pair of images.

Inquiries to the school district generated this response from spokeswoman Tanya Arja:

Yes, Idlewild offers its coffee cart service to area schools. It's the church's way of thanking teachers for their hard work by donating something that would be expensive if schools had to pay for it. During two after-school meetings at Maniscalco, Idlewild set up the coffee service. The coupons were left sitting on the cart for anyone to take. "They set up in an empty classroom, and they let people know who the coffee was from," Arja said.

No one was required to go into the classroom.

Then again, the gesture clearly troubled the employee who sent us the coupons.





[Last modified: Wednesday, November 18, 2015 2:36pm]


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