Colorado's Delta County School District says administration policies don't allow it to prevent atheist groups from carrying on with their plan to place secular and satanic literature in school libraries Friday.
The Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers and the Freedom From Religion Foundation will place their literature on a table in middle school and high school libraries, in response to the recent distribution of Gideon Bibles at the schools, according to local station WHSV3.
The Satanic Temple is involved in the planned literature placement program.
One of the new brochures the SCAF has prepared for middle school-aged students is titled "It's Okay to Not Believe in God!"
"Elves, unicorns, gods, leprechauns, angels, fairies, ghosts, Santa Claus, the tooth fairy. … All of these mythological creatures have served a function in the human mind," the brochure says, according to the group's website. "Gods were invented to explain natural phenomenon, like thunder and lightening. … They teach children that Jesus Christ was nailed to a cross because of 'your sins and deceitful heart.' These programs are designed to shame and terrify children into submission and silence, and teach them not to ask questions…"
Many parents are alarmed and outraged by the distribution of satanic material in their children's schools. But Kurt Clay, assistant superintendent at the Delta School District, was quoted as saying that they have to allow all types of information to be available to students, just as they also make literature for things such as Boy Scouts, 4H or other organizations available.
The school district's policy doesn't allow discrimination against any groups or organizations in relation to non-curricular materials. Only material that promotes hostility or violence, commercial purposes by advertising a product, interferes with the schools, promotes candidacy in an election or is obscene or pornographic can be prevented.
About four months ago, Gideon Bibles were made available to students in school libraries, which prompted atheists to plan the distribution of atheist and satanic material.
Subsequently, the school district is now looking into revising its policy to allow the district to continue providing materials that benefit students but do not include religious matters or beliefs.
Earlier this month, 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."
Candi Cushman, education analyst at the Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family, previously 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.