A school district in Colorado will soon distribute a collection of satanic and atheist literature at their high schools and middle schools in response to complaints from atheist groups.
Delta County School District will place literature provided by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers, and the Satanic Temple on April 1.
In a statement released Thursday, FFRF explained that their demands were made in response to the passive distribution of Gideon Bibles during the school day.
"The Delta County School District could have resolved the issue by not allowing religious groups inside their schools," claimed FFRF Co-President Dan Barker. "But since it has chosen to be obdurate, it's left us with no option than to respond to the religious propagandizing."
On March 3, FFRF staff attorney Andrew Seidel wrote to school district officials that "public schools have previously attempted to deny FFRF permission to distribute literature ... That resulted in a lawsuit that cost the [Orange] County Public Schools nearly $90,000 and they ended up approving all the literature for distribution anyway."
"Shortly after approving all the literature they closed the literature distribution forum — what FFRF had been asking for (and what FFRF has been asking DCSD 50J for) from the beginning."
Candi Cushman, education analyst at the Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family, told The Christian Post that she felt "common-sense standards of decency should apply to these."
"From the images displayed on recent television reports on this story, it appears that some of the materials may be disparaging of other religious viewpoints and even lewd in their depictions," said Cushman.
"So a decision to make this literature available to students should also be reviewed in light of other school policies that may protect students' exposure to inappropriately lewd images and overtly disparaging and insulting content."
Cushman of FOTF also told CP that it "is commendable that the school is making an effort to avoid unconstitutional discrimination in a public forum against a group simply because of its faith-based perspective."
"As Americans, we believe the truth will rise to the surface when allowed to be heard. As Christians, we know the truth of the Bible will win out in a competition with any other belief system," continued Cushman.
"It would be unfortunate to let intimidation from groups — with an apparent agenda of shutting a public forum down — to succeed in censorship for all."
According to local media outlet KJCT Channel 8, Delta County officials are considering a revision to their policy on literature distribution in light of the controversy.
"The Delta County School District says that their policy reads that they cannot discriminate against any groups or organizations when it comes to non-curricular materials," reported KJCT.
"The only exceptions are if the material promotes hostility or violence, commercial purposes by advertising a product, interferes with the schools, promotes candidacy in an election or is obscene or pornographic, according to a press release by the Delta School District."