The Delta County School district in Colorado is backtracking on its policy of making religious materials available to students in schools, after it was forced to include atheist and Satanic literature along with the Gideon Bibles it had been distributing.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) pushed for the inclusion of the “freethought materials” when the district refused to stop distributing the bibles to schoolchildren.
The district’s policy prohibits exclusion of groups unless they advocate violence, obscenity, or advertise a product; as such, it was forced to concede to the pressure placed on it by the FFRF. According to a report from KJCT, the school district announced that it would begin distributing atheist and Satanic literature in middle schools and high schools beginning April 1st.
“The policy says we cannot discriminate what is handed out, we just have to follow the process,” Assistant Superintendent Kurt Clay said.
FFRF attorney Andrew Seidel has made it clear than rather than advancing either of these specific viewpoints, they seek to offer alternatives as a response the district’s attempt to advance Christianity.
“The School District is not required to maintain this open forum and is free to close it rather than allow FFRF to distribute materials,”Seidel stated. “We do not think schools should be a battleground for religious ideas, but when schools allow the Gideons to prey on children, their message of eternal damnation for any who don’t believe in their God must be countered.”
Contrary to its earlier resolution, however, the district is seeking to close this forum, revising its policy to remove all religious materials from schools.
Featured image via Fox29.com