Atheist group to distribute books in Orange schools after bibles allowed
By Tracy Jacim, Anchor -
After free bibles were placed in 11 Orange County schools Tuesday by a religious organization, an atheist group plans to distribute their own reading materials in the same schools.
The atheist group Central Florida Freethought says a recent Collier County court ruling gives them the right to distribute books such as "Why Jesus?," "What is a Free Thinker?" and "Why Women Need Freedom from Religion" after the World Changers Religious Organization was allowed to place bibles in the schools.
"The county has invited people in now to do this, and what we need to do is put the views of the biblical creationists into perspective with our perspective," said David Williamson of Central Florida Freethought.
"It's not tit for tat. Our effort is to ensure the county realizes this is the wrong policy."
Williamson said his group is affiliated with the national organization "Freedom From Religion Foundation."
That group's attorney sent a letter to Orange County Public Schools objecting to the district's policy allowing outside groups into schools at all. If the district doesn't change its policy, they will go ahead with the plan to distribute their atheist literature.
The general counsel for Orange County schools said their policy will stand, with very specific rules for what can be distributed.
"Anything that contains pornographic material, any references to advertising, alcohol, tobacco, illegal drugs, or anything disruptive to school district and their educational facility" will not be allowed, according to Diego "Woody" Rodriguez.
Volunteers will be subject to background checks, can't have contact with Orange County students and must plan everything in advance. They must only set up a table and leave the books and brochures there.