FL School Delays Religious Freedom Day Over Satanic Coloring Book

Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

A Florida school district will not celebrate Religious Freedom Day on Friday due to concerns about a satanic group handing out materials to students.

The Orange County school district, which includes Orlando, recognized the event for a few years with free Bibles from a Christian group. Last year, the Freedom From Religion Foundation sued and won the right to distribute atheist materials to students.

However, the Satanic Temple’s request to hand out a coloring book to students may be too much for the district, according to WFTV.

The Satanic Temple, known best for its effort to build a Satanist monument for the Oklahoma State Capitol, planned to hand out the coloring in order to make a point about the school district’s policy on religious material.

“We would never seek to establish a precedent of disseminating our religious materials in public schools because we believe our constitutional values are better served by respecting a strong separation of Church and State,” Doug Mesner, co-founder and spokesman for The Satanic Temple, said in a September statement under the pseudonym Lucien Greaves. “However, if a public school board is going to allow religious pamphlets and full Bibles to be distributed to students — as is the case in Orange County, Florida — we think the responsible thing to do is to ensure that these students are given access to a variety of differing religious opinions, as opposed to standing idly by while one religious voice dominates the discourse and delivers propaganda to youth.”

The Orange County school district started discussing a change to its policy on religious materials in November after the Satanic Temple announced its plans. The school district has not made a final decision on which materials will be allowed, if any, but the event will definitely not take place this month.

“Nothing’s going to be going on in this district this month,” Kathy Marsh, the communications director for Orange County Public Schools, told CNS News.

The district is working on a new policy on religious materials, but the school board won’t meet again for another two weeks.

H/t Raw Story

Latest Livewire
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: