A Florida school board has caved in to pressure and banned religious and political materials from being distributed in its schools.
Prior to the decision, the Orange County School Board allowed the Bible and atheist literature in district schools for one day per year starting in in 2010.
The board changed the policy Tuesday after it got a request from the Satanic Temple to hand out its coloring books, according to WFTV.
Before the change, religious materials were allowed to be placed on tables at the schools in the beginning of the year on “Religious Freedom Day.”
The change to the policy passed by a vote of 7-1, WFTV reported.
Predictably the atheist group that distributed its materials at the schools welcomed the decision.
“It was good to know that their goal is to make sure religious materials are not permitted to be in schools,” David Williamson of the Central Florida Freethought Community For the Separation of State and Church told the station.
Not everyone is happy with the change.
“If my client is turned away because my client is a religious organization, then I think we’ll have grounds to sue the school board based on an unconstitutional policy,” Roger Gannam, with Liberty Counsel, a Christian organization promoting religious freedom, told WFTV.
Liberty Counsel won a case against the school board in 2009, reversing a previous policy that did not allow Bibles to be brought into schools.
The board had to reimburse Liberty Counsel $20,000 in legal expenses and allowed Bibles and other religious materials to be placed on tables in cafeterias on “Religious Freedom Day.”
This time, the board said it is prepared for such a challenge.
“This board has been fully briefed on the legal issues,” Chairman Bill Sublette said.
The lesson kids can learn from this is that sometimes the bad guys win.
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