Delta Middle School in Colorado will now be giving away coloring books from The Satanic Temple, all thanks to Christians who demanded Bibles be given away and the school board that allowed it to happen.
Back in December, stories emerged about teachers pushing bibles on students at Delta Middle School. Teacher Michael Long announced to his class that there were free bibles available, saying that students “could pick one up off of a table located in the doorway of the library and take it home.”
One of his students pointed out that this was a violation of separation between church and state and texted a picture of the incident to her mother. When the student passed on picking a bible, she was allegedly confronted by her classmates who started shaming her for not conforming to the teacher’s Christian beliefs.
According to school district policy, non-curricular material could not “be distributed in any classroom of any building then being occupied by a regularly-scheduled class.”
The policy also says that students “may not be used as the agents for distribution of such materials without the written consent of the student’s parent.” Students who didn’t take a bible were pressured by their peers to take one, making them “agents of distribution.”
The policy dictates that materials can be given out “one-half hour before school and/or during regularly scheduled lunch periods and/or 15 minutes after the close of school.” The bibles were offered to the students in the middle of the day and not at lunch time.
Anne Landman first posted about this incident on her blog. She pointed out that district officials refused to admit wrongdoing:
” [Jennifer] Lohrberg denied that any violations had occurred. She even assured the concerned parent all was done in accordance with school board policy and the bible giveaway had been approved by the District’s lawyers.
After being brushed off by Principal Lohrberg, the parent called the Delta County School District Assistant Superintendent, who similarly insisted the bible distribution was in accordance with District policy and the school was doing nothing wrong by making the bibles available. The superintendent suggested the concerned parent take the matter up with the School Board.”
The matter was then brought to the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s attention and after multiple requests to stop the distribution of the bibles, the FFRF requested that the Satanic coloring book be given away along with other pro-atheism pamphlets.
Orange County (Florida) tried to stop atheists from distributing similar literature like this and failed. This cost taxpayers approximately $90,000 in legal fees. Because Delta County officials said yes to the distribution of the bibles, they must say yes to the distribution of the Satanic coloring book and pamphlets like, “It’s Okay to Not Believe in God!”
District officials said yes to the coloring book and pamphlets and parents of the district were enraged:
Some Delta parents are in an uproar that atheist and satanic literature will be distributed in Delta County high schools and middle schools on April 1st.
Kurt Clay, with the Delta School District says if they are going to make literature for things such as Boy Scouts, 4H or other organizations available, they have to allow all types of information to be available to students.
“This is the other side of that,” explained Kurt Clay, the Assistant Superintendent. “The policy says we cannot discriminate what is handed out, we just have to follow the process.”
The process means that atheist literature will not be handed out to students, but rather placed on a table in a school’s library. This will allow students to pick it up the materials only if they wish to.
Lucien Greaves, spokesperson for The Satanic Temple, commented on the distribution in a press release. “I think it’s lovely that Delta County Public Schools is helping us to help provide students with a such a poignant lesson in First Amendment Constitutional Law and the principle of pluralism, not to mention Comparative Religion,” Greaves states. “Those lessons couldn’t possibly be any more relevant today.”
You can print the full Satanic Children’s Big Book of Activities here.