The Delta County School Board in Colorado is allowing the Gideons organization to distribute free Bibles at public schools despite repeated requests to stop the practice from an atheist group in Wisconsin, the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
In a new tactic, the FFRF announced in a press release on March 10 that it is requesting the school district also allow the FFRF and related groups to pass out brochures and booklets at public schools.
These "freethought materials" would include, "Top 10 Public School State-Church Violations and How to Stop Them," and "What's Wrong With The Ten Commandments?"
The FFRF said it is unconstitutional for public school districts to allow the Bible distribution, and that when the giveaways are done in a passive manner some courts have ruled that unconstitutional, as well.
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FFRF staff attorney Andrew Seidel wrote a letter to the school district on March 3"
The School District is not required to maintain this open forum and is free to close it rather than allow FFRF to distribute materials. 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.
The Friendly Atheist notes that Seidel's letter also mentions that the FFRF wants "The Satanic Children’s BIG BOOK of Activities" to be passed out at public schools.
The FFRF recalled that when it was denied this type of equal access by Orange County Public Schools in Florida, the FFRF filed a lawsuit that cost the Florida school district almost $90,000, and the FFRF materials were eventually distributed on campuses.
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According to the FFRF, the Orange County Public Schools soon brought an end to all literature distribution on campuses, including religious content, which was the original goal of the FFRF.
"Public schools should not be venues for religious folks to attempt to brainwash young minds," FFRF co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor said in the news release. "But once religious groups are welcomed, then atheists and others with competing viewpoints mist be allowed in, too."