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How should public schools handle distribution of religious materials?

January 28, 2015

By Jeremy Quattlebaum, Student Voices staff writer

Students in a Florida school district may have picked up more than just textbooks when they returned to school after the holiday break.

The World Changers of Florida, an evangelical Christian group, has distributed Bibles and other religious materials to students in Orange County schools three times. Another distribution was planned this month. The distributions set off a series of lawsuits from an atheist organization that sought to stop the practice. It argued that by allowing the distribution, the government is endorsing one religion over another, a violation of the establishment clause of the First Amendment.

A judge ruled that the school district was not violating the establishment clause, saying that the distribution was passive and that it would be allowed as long as other religions also could distribute materials.

After the ruling, the atheist organization, Central Florida Freethought Community, submitted materials that promoted atheism, which the school board and legal review board said could be distributed. The atheist group said it acted as a protest against Bible distributions.

Following the lead of the atheist organization, the Satanic Temple has submitted a children’s coloring book promoting Satanism. The temple said it would rather avoid distributing its materials in schools. But, it said, since the school district allowed distribution of Christian materials, other organizations should follow suit so students have access to a variety of religious thoughts.

Satanic Temple spokesman Doug Mesner said in a statement: “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. 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.”

The Satanic Temple is no stranger to controversy and legal challenges. It petitioned to have a statue of Satan erected on the grounds of the Oklahoma State Capitol, where a statue of the Ten Commandments stands. The state denied the permit, but the organization won a court ruling. The court said that since the state allowed a Christian statue, all religions should be allowed to display monuments promoting their particular beliefs.

World Changers of Florida vice president Greg Harper has issues with the Satanic Temple distributing its materials in schools. He said it went against the good of the community. “They seem to be moving against the interests of a large part of the community,” he said. “The Bible will open somebody’s heart, somebody’s mind, and cause them to pursue answers.”

After the temple submitted its coloring book, which featured mazes, word puzzles, and a lesson against bullying, the school board proposed banning distribution of all religious materials. It said the distribution of religious materials took away instruction time and interfered with the learning process. Board chairman Bill Sublette said in an Orlando Sentinel interview: “This really has, frankly, gotten out of hand. I think we’ve seen a group or groups take advantage of the open forum we’ve had.”

Generally, school officials may allow outside organizations to passively distribute religious material in secondary schools. This means that material can be left on tables but groups cannot actively hand it to students. Courts have also said that reasonable restrictions can be placed on the time, place and manner of distribution as long as they apply to all materials.

What do you think?

How should public schools handle distribution of religious materials? Does the distribution of religious materials of any kind violate the First Amendment’s establishment clause? Do you think the Temple of Satan has the right to distribute its religious materials? Join the discussion and let us know what you think!
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Comments
5/18/2018
murrieta/ca
leslie
jabro/mca
i feel schools should allow certain religous talk if learning but other than that religion should not be involved in school

5/9/2018
Murrieta/CA
Megan
Jabro/MCA
In a public school, I think the distribution of religious material should be not allowed. This protects all religions from hate and slander. I think religion should be a topic that we can debate in school, however, I don't think distribution of things such as rosaries or kippahs should be allowed.

4/26/2018
Murrieta
Amber
jabro MCA
Every school runs things differently. depending on what state or religion they are. what country they are, not everyone is going to have the same religion.

12/14/2017
Murrieta
Marie Duron
Jabro/mca
in my opinion if the school is allowed to talk about religion or pass out pan flips about christianity then why not have an Atheist organization at school.

12/4/2017
Murrieta/CA
Porsha Cook
Mr. Jabro Murrieta Canyon Academy
I think that schools should be able to do as they please. I'm not a religious person but it wouldn't bother me to get information about any religion. If the laws say that they can't do it, they should but out a notice and stop it from happening. If it isn't a big deal, allow distribution to happen. I think the Temple of Satan should be able to distribute if the Christian religious organizations can.

11/28/2017
murrieta
velma
mr. jabro
I think its okay to distributing religion if it has to do with the topic of what they are learning.

11/17/2017
Murrieta
Justin
Jabro/MCA
In my opinion I believe school should not be distributing anything that involves religion. It can affect kids if you keeping pressing religion during school.

11/17/2017
murrieta
jaydee
jabro/mca
I think religious discussions and materials should be left for the parents to talk to their kids about. It kind of does violate the first amendments establishment clause.

10/30/2017
Murrieta
Allyssa
Jabro/MCA
I believe the school should keep religion out of it in all because school is a place to get education not a lecture about religion.

10/27/2017
Palmdale
ALIM THE ENDER
Ms. Agnew
All religions should take no part in the education of students. They play no significant part of learning and don't apply any skills that cannot be learned from another source. Put simply, religion is for people who want it, and that part is up to the parents and students to decide for themselves

10/26/2017
murrieta
kendall
jabro mca
i think schools should not be allowed to talk about religion and should stay away from all religions in general, they shouldnt scold students for believing in something but also shouldnt be allowed to share their opinions on the subject

10/13/2017
Sidney, Mt
Patrick Prince
Mr. Faulhaber/SHS
The school should not let the distribution of religious material to students unless it is not a bible.

10/12/2017
Sidney/Montana
Isak Rosales
Mr.Faulhaber
no i do not think that public schools should have anything do with anything religious marks at all the school system should just stray away for all religions.

10/12/2017
Sidney Montana
jason
Mr.faulhaber
there should be no anything that has to do with religion in scholllllls

10/12/2017
Sidney/MT
Kade
Mr. Fauhlaber
I completely agree with Jarod, I don't believe satanic groups are a real religion and it shouldn't be allowed.

10/12/2017
Sidney, Montana
Shawn
Mr. Faulhaber
If they let one in they have to allow all in so why not just not let any in and then there wont be any problem.

10/12/2017
Sidney, Montana
Abby
Mr. Faulhaber
I don't think any of that religious stuff should be in schools period. It's a school not a church.

10/12/2017
sidney
Jarod
Mr. Faulhaber
they shouldn't allow it. It causes nothing but problems, satanic groups are outrageous thats not a religion none should be allowed in school.

10/12/2017
Sidney/ Montana
Troy
Mr. Faulhaber/ Sidney High School
they should extinguish the ability to have materials in school if the religion doesn't require certain props.

10/12/2017
sidney mt
jordan
Mr. Faulhaber SHS
i believe that any individual person that is not a government official should have the right to distribute whatever religious materials that they want.

10/12/2017
Sidney/Montana
John
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
I think that the way they are currently handling them is just fine. The distribution of religious materials by people of influence has an affect on the minds of youth, however if the religious text is not force upon them it is fine. The Temple of Satan should be able to distribute the same as any other religion.

10/12/2017
SHS
Jordan
Mr.Fauhlaber
A school should not be able to accept religious materials if a group is distributing this material they can do it outside of school and the kids can use it everywhere but school. School is not taught to learn about religion yes some of it teaches history but they are all different ad accepting these materials would cause drama that is not needed and the kids who don’t accept it may get bullied. So no material from any religious group should be allowed

4/20/2017
murrieta ca
brianna avila
jabro mca
I don't think its fine to handle religious materials at school, because some students can get offended.

4/18/2017
murrieta
zoe maldonado
jabro mca
Religious text and flyers should not be handed out in schools, unless the kids are given a fair spread and exposure of the other major religions. If you wish to educate kids on religious texts then you need to teach them about all of the religions. Handing out only one beliefs scriptures would be influencing kids and not letting them choose what fits them best. I believe there is a place for religion is schools, but for all religions, not just the one deemed right.

4/4/2017
Murrieta/California
Owen
Mr.Jabro/MCA
in my opinion, its fine that schools distribute religous things but as long as they are not forcing religion on them its completely fine. Also if the student refuses to receive it then they should not make a fuss because then it becomes a problem.

11/18/2016
Louisiana
Brianna
Coach Pennington/ CHS
Schools, in my opinion, should not be allowed to distribute religious materials to students in school. I believe this because many people are not religious, and those who are may not be of the same religion as those who are distributing religious materials. If a student who is Muslim, for example, is given a bible, what are they to do with it? They may end up taking this in a negative way, feeling as if their school is trying to convert them from their own religion. If the schools insist on distributing these materials, so be it. Stay with passively distributing them, so that students who are not of that religion do not feel offended. it is true that the distribution of such materials is not in violation of our first Constitutional amendment. After all, it is a part of our Bill of Rights. However, this should not give any religion the right, whether or not the majority of students at that school belong to it or not. Christian, Hindu, Muslim, whatever! They should not be forced to read or take a holy book that is not of their religion. Of course, some people feel that if a student does not want to take a book, they can opt not to, but as one of the previous commentators said, these students may feel left out. Other students could begin talking about them and their religious choices. This whole distribution of religious materials is an accident just waiting to happen, and it is a bad idea.

11/18/2016
Louisiana
Brianna
Coach Pennington/ CHS
Schools, in my opinion, should not be allowed to distribute religious materials to students in school. I believe this because many people are not religious, and those who are may not be of the same religion as those who are distributing religious materials. If a student who is Muslim, for example, is given a bible, what are they to do with it? They may end up taking this in a negative way, feeling as if their school is trying to convert them from their own religion. If the schools insist on distributing these materials, so be it. Stay with passively distributing them, so that students who are not of that religion do not feel offended. it is true that the distribution of such materials is not in violation of our first Constitutional amendment. After all, it is a part of our Bill of Rights. However, this should not give any religion the right, whether or not the majority of students at that school belong to it or not. Christian, Hindu, Muslim, whatever! They should not be forced to read or take a holy book that is not of their religion. Of course, some people feel that if a student does not want to take a book, they can opt not to, but as one of the previous commentators said, these students may feel left out. Other students could begin talking about them and their religious choices. This whole distribution of religious materials is an accident just waiting to happen, and it is a bad idea.

11/18/2016
Covington, La
Samantha
Pennington
Religious materials should not be handed out at schools, unless it is a certain organized club that hands them out to only their members that are active in that particular faith. The religious materials should not be handed out in a normal school environment though due to differing beliefs, controversy and distraction from class time. Religion has nothing to do with your core education while in high school unless you attend a private school were religion is your class and its mandatory. If students want to explore their faith or express it they should do it elsewhere, because the classroom is not the right place or time. It would heavily interfere and cause so much backlash so it needs to be cut out entirely. It would just contribute to distraction and added stress for people who feel as if certain beliefs are being pushed on them, thus resulting in focusing more on if you should have the same viewpoint religiously as the rest of the people in your class rather than focusing on your education itself. If you want to share your faith or discover it, that needs to be fit into your schedule outside of the classroom.

3/17/2016
stroudsburg Pennsylvania
miada e
mr Hanna/ SJHS
Religion is a really sensitive topic. I also think that distributing religious materials isn't okay. People have different views on different subjects and religion is a really touchy one. People could get easily offended believing you're trying to insult their beliefs by handing out certain objects. I don't agree that the Temple of Satan has the right to distribute items as in coloring books to promote their beliefs. We can't cater to every religion as to why we shouldn't hand out the Bible without handing out any other book with religious views. if we were to honor one religion we should have to honor them all, and there's no possible way to do that with all of the religions out there. as to why religion should stay out of public schools educations

3/16/2016
Stroudsburg
Sara D.
Me. Hanna
I do not think schools should handle distribution of religious material. If a teacher gives a student something that is against their religion, the student could get offended. It doesn't violate the first Amendment because this isn't stopping people from saying things, it just shows them different religions. I do not think the Temple of Satan has the right to distribute materials. I will go against many peoples religions.

3/16/2016
Stroudsburg/ PA
Hala E
Mr. Hanna/ SJHS
Religion is the sort of topic that sparksks up all sorts of debate. I don't think it was right for the school to give out bibles because not everyone in that school is Christian. There are all different kinds of religions and giving out one source of religious item isn't fair for the other religions. I don't think schools should distribute any material that's about religion and just focus on education.

3/16/2016
Stroudsburg, PA
Ryan P.
Mr. Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
Public schools should not distribute religious materials. It is not necessarily unconstitutional, just morally wrong. It's a much better solution to ban the distribution of religious material at public schools entirely than to allow any religious texts to be distributed, seeing as the latter can be easily taken advantage of. This would be a national controversy if a group like Scientology started handing out copies of "Dianetics". Therefore, religious material should not be distributed in public schools.

3/16/2016
Stroudsburg Pa
Uzoya
Mr.Hanna/ Stroudsburg JHS
No school should be passing out religious material unless it's apart of the curriculum or the school is school were they practice religion like Sunday school. The first amendment clearly states that we as American citizens have freedom of religion. Myself as an Atheist don't want one of my teachers to be shoving a religion in my face creating a hostile environment, when it violates what I choose to believe in.

3/16/2016
Stroudsburg,PA
Lauryn
Me.Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
Religion is a big deal today. Kids who are handing out bibles in school can affect people if they do not believe in the same religion. Everyone should respect everyone religion. I feel that kids should still believe and feel good about their religion just not in school grounds.

3/15/2016
Stroudsburg,PA
Tojah
Mr. Hanna/JHS
I beileve that if you're a teacher and you're giving students bibles, you shouldn't. As you go around the room giving everyone bibles and you get to one students that says the don't believe in God, you'll nod your head and go along. The student will feel excluded from whatever you guys are doing and everyone will be whispering about why they didn't they get a bible. Even though the don't beileve in something, don't ever exclude a student and leave them out.

3/15/2016
Stroudsburg, PA
Waqar M.
Mr. Hanna/Stroudsburg
I feel like no school should ever hand out any form of religious material. The reason I say this is because school is to go to and learn education, to get a better knowledge, not to go learn about a religion you may not believe in. Handing everyone a Bible, Quran, or any other religious book should not be allowed since kids who don't practice that religion should have to even TOUCH a holy book that isn't in their ethnic group. For Example: a Kid is being handed the Quran before winter break and has to read it, even though he is atheist. Why should he read it? If teachers are doing this so people can learn another religion, then there should be a another way then to hand everyone bibles and have to fully read it

3/14/2016
Stroudsburg
Emma Scott
Mr.Hanna
Religion is a delicate thing, especially in the present. One of the quickest ways for opposition to arise is through religion. By having Christian kids hand out bibles may upset people. Everyone should respect each other's beliefs and not criticize. I'm not opposed to having kids express their opinions, just not in a school environment where it's a distraction.

1/5/2016
Sidney/Montana
Dominic
Faulhaber/Sidney High School
I believe that in school sititution you should not have undue influence from a person of a certain religion actually handing out the materials. I see them physically handing the materials out and possibly starting conversation as alot more effective than anything ans in schools should not be allowed. Having a portion of space dictated for religious materials up for grabs seems much more logical and it does not have undue influence by individuals acting upon you.

12/10/2015
Diamond Bar/ California
DylanP.5
Wong/Lorbeer
I think that the evangelical Christian group should be able to hand out bibles and other religious materials. If you don't want it; you can just throw it away. I think the Christian group should be able to express what they believe in and share it. It clearly states in the first amendment that," Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech...." I don't want people showing up and asking if I want to convert to Islam, but they have the right to do that. They should be able to express their feelings.

12/10/2015
Diamond Bar/CA
NicoleP5
Wong/Lorbeer
The First Amendment states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," meaning that distributing religious materials from schools is a violation of the First Amendment. We should respect people for their religion and their religious practices. Distributing their religious materials is stopping them from doing their religious practices. No one has the right to distribute any religious materials because a religion could very personal and serious to some people. Also, some religious materials are very special to some people as well. We shouldn't take them away because it’s wrong to take away their materials that could be important to them and stopping them from doing their religious worship.

12/9/2015
Pomona/California
Olyvia P5
Wong/Lorbeer
Religions have been a problem since the earliest time in any textbook from school. The world would be such a better place if religions were put aside during a conversation with a person from a different religion. Passing out bibles may not seem like such a big deal and maybe these atheists are over reacting by putting out lawsuits but i have sided with the atheist's belief that bibles should not be passed out in a public school. Public schools aren't suppose to pass or talk about anything religious or favoring a certain religion because it may offend students. Points of view can cause many arguments and religions always seem to be the reason people are arguing. What people need to understand is not everyone thinks the same. We all don't believe in the same rights of people, the same religions, or the same political points of view. Christianity should not be forced upon anyone nor should any other religion. People are raised to believe in different ways of how the world works. My mother raised me to believe God is there and he is good, but I would never pass a bible to a person with a different point of view because I know that not everyone believes in what i believe in and they don't have to.

12/9/2015
Diamond Bar/California
FionaP4
Wong/Lorbeer
Schools should not let religious groups of any sort, whether they are atheist, Christian, or Satanic worshipers, because schools should not have any place as a distributor of religious texts. At school, students are expected to learn, not to collect Satanic coloring books and Bibles. The distribution of religious texts seems to have disrupted the educational atmosphere that schools strive for, and it was a wise decision on the part of the school board to halt the proceedings and allow students to continue learning without having to bring home Bibles or religious pamphlets promoting atheism, Satanism, or any other religion. It is ridiculous that religious groups saw fit to distract students from their education by trying to convince them to join their respective religions, and I am, quite honestly, shocked that the school district didn't put a stop to the gross misuse of the religious groups' right to freedom of speech sooner, as the religious paraphernalia clearly disrupted regular school activities. However, I do feel that if the distribution had continued, and somehow managed to prove itself as a useful and educational fixture in the school, that the Temple of Satan should have equal rights to spread the word of their opinion. The same arguments that the Christians used to defend the provision of religious texts applies to the Temple of Satan, and it's a bit hypocritical of the other religious groups to attempt to deny one particular sect of religion the right to expound upon their religion's benefits.

10/2/2015
Sidney, Montana
Christian Eggar
Mr. Faulhaber Sidney High School
The bible discrimination should not happen. If atheists can hand out or profess that there isn't a God Christians should be able to do this. I think its a great thing that they are handing out bibles and they should continue that. No one is saying that they are forcing Christian Doctrine on atheist or students, they are just simply giving them a option. Its up to the person on whether or not they want to believe it. Its not like they are forcing them to believe. For example if people can hand out pro-gay marriage hand outs then why not let them hand out bibles? Be fair and let this happen! Thank-you God bless

9/14/2015
Murrieta, CA
Gary
Mr. Jabro Creekside Highschool
Religious material shouldn't be prohibited, but other's beliefs shouldn't be forced on children. School is a place of learning not debating over religious views. Religion should be viewed in a historical sense and how it has contributed or hindered the advancement of our civilization as a whole. There are lots of different religions that have influenced our history and none should be ignored.

9/2/2015
Sidney, Montana
Tayler Fischer
Mr. Faulhaber/ Sidney High School
I think that having some religious material in school shouldn't be frowned upon. I also think that it shouldn't be a thing that is studied throughout school. If there is something that relates the topic of study with religion, it should be taught. But, religion shouldn't be something that's taught at school. That is something to be learned either on your own or within your church community.

9/2/2015
Sidney, MT
Kaitlyn Tibbits
Mr. Faulhaber/ Sidney High School
These are the kinds of things that make me mad. First, I'm told that we should not do certain things (like practice our religious beliefs) because it might offend somebody. Then, I'm told that the First Amendment gives me that right. Who am I supposed to believe? I think that the school should organize a day where each of the religious organizations can have a booth containing their information and the students can look around and gain insight from each group. The students, then, do not have all of this information thrown at them and the teachers are not being interrupted in class.

9/2/2015
Sidney High School
Mikayla Holley
Mr. Faulhaber
First of all, it's funny how some people believe that atheists hate religion. Atheists believe in logic and not divine deities. Students should not be forced into religion. Many times have I had it shoved down my throat. It's not pleasant. Public school should be a neutral ground for religion. We should be letting students develop their own beliefs rather than shaping them to be just like ours. In many ways, yes, the schools shove a certain religion down a child's throat because "that's the right way to behave." The First Amendment allows freedom of religion. Yes, I believe myself to be an atheist, but people should respect that instead of trying to convert me. It should be the same with school. Religious materials should be distributed evenly, allowing the student to think for themselves instead of having to be influenced by the majority of the school AND family values.

9/2/2015
Sidney, Montana
Sadie Rasmussen
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney high school
To me schools should not promote religious believes. No i am not atheist i do believe in all spiritual things but their is a difference between spiritual and religion. If religion can be practiced at school so should spiritual believes. In all honesty if you are religious would you want your daughter or son learning about god from a teacher or just students in a group? Or would you rather have them learn from someone who knows more about their believes like at a church who believes in what you do? At school but mostly high school people are trying to find who they truly are, what groups they belong into and how to be a individual on your own. By influencing religion they could get confused or could find their true beliefs. But they should be able to find who they are without so many influences.

9/2/2015
Sidney, MT
Danielle
Mr. Faulhaber, Sidney Publi Schools
I think that if you are going to preach about religion in schools it should be offered as an elective class for students to take. Schools could even provide an after school club to talk about these things but I believe that they should be kept out of regular classes just because there is always problems as far as parents not agreeing with it and even a student that has been taught growing up to not believe in religious matters.

9/1/2015
Sidney
Brianna Reid
Mr. Faulhaber
I feel that the distribution of religious materials should be controlled. I personally like the idea of distributing these materials, but it would get out of hand. If you let one religion hand out the materials, then you would have to allow the other religions to hand out materials as well. And too much of that will really confuse young children.

6/5/2015
Stroudsburg/PA
Emilio
Mr. Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
The schools should control the religious material because students could get a little out of hand. But still most religious stuff should be out of school because it can force a new religion on students.

6/5/2015
Stroudsburg PA
Kiara
Mr.Hanna Stroudsburg jr
I think you should not distribution religion beliefs in school. I don't think it a good idea because some parents might get mad and say they are trying to change their children beliefs. If no one says anything about it then it wouldn't be a problem. Also if kids here that it might break a fight out. So I think at school you shouldn't be allowed to learn or do anything around religion beliefs.

6/5/2015
Stroudsburg, PA
Sarinthia
Mr.Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
I think that schools should let students worship their religion where ever they are. School shouldnt have the right to tell people that they can't pray or bring a bible to school. Also they should make a rule where you can't discriminate against eachother religion ,even if they don't like the religion. Everyone should just worry bout their own religion before they worry bout somebody else's.

6/5/2015
Stroudsburg, PA
Sarinthia
Mr.Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
I think that schools should let students worship their religion where ever they are. School shouldnt have the right to tell people that they can't pray or bring a bible to school. Also they should make a rule where you can't discriminate against eachother religion ,even if they don't like the religion. Everyone should just worry bout their own religion before they worry bout somebody else's.

6/5/2015
Stroudsburg/PA
Demari
Mr. Hanna/Stroudsburg jr high
Schools should prohibit these organizations from distributing their material to the kids or they could allow it and let the parents of the children handle the situation as they see fit. Children are smart enough to take the material or disregard it if they feel the need to, it is their prerogative.

6/5/2015
Stroudsburg/PA
Gabrielle
Mr. Hanna/ Stroudsburg JHS
I think this should be allowed under certain circumstances. If a student has something they they are required to wear because of their religion that is understandable. However, bringing a bible to school or something else could cause caios. Students could be against one others religion, so not be allowed to do these things can limit disagreements happening.

6/4/2015
Stroudsburg, PA
Brianne
Mr. Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
I do not think public schools should hand out religious materials to their students. If public schools were to do this, there would be a lot of controversy. Religion is a personal choice which should be pursued outside of school if they choose to practice their religion. I also believe that the Temple of Satan does not have the right to distribute its religious materials because it would be like any other religion distributing their materials in public schools.

6/4/2015
Stroudsburg, PA
Nigel
Mr.Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
Public schools should not be able to distribute religious materials. The only school that should be allowed to present their religious ideas are private schools kids choose to go to. The distribution of religious materials does go against the First Ammendments because it influences kids choices. The Temple of Satan has just as much right to hand religious material as any other religion.

6/4/2015
Stroudsburg, PA
Joel
Mr Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
I believe that public schools should handle the distribution of religious material passively. By this I mean public schools should disregard religious material distributed. By doing this the schools would gain favor with their students by allowing students to freely express themselves religiously. The only exception to this would be if the distribution of religious material was becoming a distraction in the classroom. If the occurred I believe the school's duty would be to ban all distributions of religious material because if they ignored it, it would become a hindrance to the education of students and if they only banned a particular religion's religious material it would appear as if they would be opposing that religion violating separation of church and stat

6/4/2015
Stroudsburg PA
Alyssa
Mr.Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
I believe that when it comes down to religion, the schools should not allow any materials involving it on school grounds. Whether its religious or satanic, some students could take some of these things the wrong way. Students could be against ones religion, which can start a disagreement and then the whole school will be in a fuzz.

6/4/2015
Stroudsburg, PA
Devin Garlick
Mr.Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
I think that schools should ignore that religious materials are being haded out if the other children are of the same religion. If the children are of a different religion or they dont want to be given the stuff their isnt much the school can do. I think that the worst the school could do in this situation is to call the parent of the persob distributing religious materials because they want to avoid any religion related issues.

6/4/2015
Stroudsburg
Tessa
Mr. Hanna
I believe that public schools should not be able to distribute religious materials. Unless they are a private religious school. I believe that religion should be handled outside I school because it is a private decision. I believe that all schools should ban the distribution of religious material. I believe that it is unconstitutional because it forces a religion on students. I believe that if you ban the Temple of satan than you have to ban all religions.

6/4/2015
Stroudsburg,PA
Lia
Mr. Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
They shouldn't provide repigious materials but instead allow students to bring in religous materials. It does not violate the first amendment because they're still allowed to bring in materials the school however does not provide them. No one would have the right to distribute them but bring them in on they're own.

6/4/2015
Stroudsburg/Pennsylvania
Zach
Mr.hanna
I think that that schools shouldn't provide religious materials because it may start a problem. I do think that they should let students bring whatever religious materials they want so the school can be diverse and fair. I don't think it violates the first amendment because it's not like the school is forcing the kids to have these religious materials. I do not think that the temple of satan has the right to distribute their materials to schools because it brings a weird vibe to the school and it is not righ.

6/3/2015
Stroudsburg, PA
Hana
Hanna/ Stroudsburg JHS
I believe that no public school should be able to distribute religious materials. This allows all students to participate without thinking they need to believe something they disagree with. Only schools for specific religions should be able to pass out these materials. I do not think the distribution was a violation of the First Amendment's establishment clause because they can never distribute every religion, but they can distribute the most common. I don't think this means they are favoring one over another. If the school passed out only one religion though, I believe this would violate the clause. I believe that the Temple of Satan has the right to distribute it's materials, as does any other religion, to anyone except students attending public schools.

6/3/2015
Stroudsburg PA
AMBER K
Mr.Hanna/ Stroudsburg JHS
I think schools should handle distribution of religious materials in one way. I think they should let the kids express their religion and encourage their beliefs. Whether they believe in God or many gods. I think schools should support kids belief and that the distribution of religious materials should be supported.

3/25/2015
Murrieta/California
Derek
Jabro/Creekside
I think that as long as it is not unconstitutional then it is fine, freedom of religion is in the constitution therefore there should be no problem as long as every religion has a chance to give material. Ultimately it is up to that person or child to decide what religion to follow if they choose any at all. so i dont see a problem with religions giving schools material for the students as long as it is not unconstitutional it should be fine.

3/25/2015
murieta/california
Derek C
jabro/creekside
Freedom of religion is in the constitution so i don't see why talking to people, or distributing bibles in this case is a bad thing. i think kids should be exposed to all religions and think for themselves which one they think is right or that they like the most or whatever reason they might have for picking one certain religion like Christianity for example.

3/17/2015
Irving/Texas
Abraham
Bradley/Nimitz
School is an education system for students to learn, to be be able to possess the skills to succeed in life. School is not a religious facility, so all religious distributed material should be put to a stop. This also goes against what would the parent’s want for their children household’s religion. The religion organization have their rights to exercise their religion, however they are enforcing, and disturbing an education system by disturbing their plans, and also going against of what some parents would not want their children to learn.

3/5/2015
menifee CA
Tre gudger
Jabro/ Creekside highschool
I don't think that public or private school should distribute religious materials what so ever. If the parents of a student wants their child to learn religious material, then they should teach them selves. Yes, the district is violating the first amendment by distributing these materials. No, the temple of satan does not have the right to distribute the religious material either.

2/25/2015
Irving/Texas
Kamille
Bradley/Nimitz
Separation between church and state, is what our government claims to be founded on, but isn’t that just an ulterior motive to benefit the government official’s religious stances? I find the entire statement to be perjury of a prideful government that’s bureaucrats manipulate the laws in their favor. But enough of my cynical assumptions of our “free” nation, and on to my very liberal opinions on the religious injustice in Florida. Society is much more accepting of the normal than of the different. Christianity is the norm, it is in the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, and the pledge. It is supposedly the glue that holds this “great” nation together so it is no surprise that some people would be lenient on exercising religion in school if it is in their favor. Now this act can be perceived as kindness towards people that want to spread the act of God but in the big scheme of things, this hypocrisy is quite detrimental to those who are not supporters of Christianity. Distributing bibles to impressionable children is just as hazardous as satanic coloring books (which quite frankly, I’d enjoy a Satan coloring book). The Central Florida Freethought Committee was just exercising their rights that The World Changers of Florida and it is appalling that the judge would immediately side with the Christian group because he deems it in a higher standard. I am not one to condone the “Tit For Tat” method of doing things, but I applaud The Central Florida Freethought Committee for fighting for equal rights. Yes, they passed out coloring books of Satan and yes, it was slightly out of revenge but it was their right. It is their right. I register all religious coloring books or religious materials for that matter, as devices to persuade others into their way of thinking. If equality, procedures, or possibilities had been thought through, this event and issue would never have been up for debate.

2/23/2015
murrieta,CA
Mickey
Mr.Jabro/ creekside
i don't think they should teach religion in schools ,because some people get really offended by and they could tell their parents and they could report it to the school and sue them, i just think its a unnessary discussion to have in school ,because here in U.S we have the freedom of religion and not everyone have the the same beliefs as other people, and some people (like me) don't believe in that type of stuff, theres people who worship the devil and theres people who worship themselves ,and i've known people who stopped being friends because of discussion like this , because they didn't agree on their religion, this is a topic that people get really sensitive about and it unnessary

2/14/2015
Orlando/Florida
Cody
William R.Boone High School
I think that public schools should let students pass out there religious materials on campus. When schools put restrictions on students they are taking away there rights a a private citizen of that state. I believe that if people want to pass out religious materials then let them. Who is it for public schools to decide on what the students want or do not want. I don not believe that there should be a ban on religious materials being passed out on public school campuses. I do not agree with ignorant people who think that there should not be religious materials passed out on schools. They are ignorant to others rights. People who pass out religious materials should be able to just come and set there things up and let the students come by and take an item if they want it. There should not be a ban on the passing of religious materials. If there is a ban on the passing of religious materials then there should be a ban on passing out anything on school campuses like clubs, plays, shows, blood drives, etc. it is not fair for people to be singled out because of their beliefs. it is either no passing out materials or yes passing out materials either religious or non-religious.

2/11/2015
Irving/Tx
Chellandria
Bradley/Nimitz
If one person is able to distribute their religious materials it should be the same for any other religions. My belief is that it is best that neither religions try to influence others to practice any religions. Because one religion is able then it shouldn't be a problem for another religion to influence others. It would be ruling out the first amendment for letting others influence children in school, because they should be able to choose which religion they want to practice.

2/6/2015
Murrieta/ CA
Miguel
Jabro/ Creekside High School
I myself don't consider myself a "religious" man, because i believe believing in god and Jesus himself is enough. I wouldn't ask my classmate his thoughts on god unless he chose to. I dont think is necessarily fair to shut it out completely from school because a lot of good comes from discussing it more rather than trying to please everyone and shutting it out.

2/6/2015
murrieta ca
elizabeth padilla
Mr. jabro/ creeksidehigh
I understand that everybody has their own religion and their own beliefs and they want everyone else to know about and learn about what they believe in and especially the people that go and really put themselves out there to show the world what their religion is capable of but i believe it can be a bad thing to force your religion on people yes, but i say you believe in what you believe in and that's all you.

2/5/2015
Irving/Texas
Rebecca
Bradley/Nimitz
It is impossible for a Christian believer to actively condone the promotion of Satanism at school. However, I imagine that it is also difficult for Satanist believers to condone the dissemination of Christian materials to their children. Such a conflict would also follow the efforts of any other conflicting religions to evangelize to students during the school day. This fact is inevitable: conflict follows religious disagreement. It therefore follows that we ought to avoid the presentation of any evangelical materials to students at public schools. What I gather from the statements of the Satanic Temple is this: they only passed out their coloring books because they wanted to spite the school for allowing Christian materials to be made available. Beyond the counterproductive and manipulative nature of this fact, it must be realized that, in a world where making a point is of utmost value, ramifications notwithstanding, and sensitivity to people of differing opinions is at an all time high, the safest option is to avoid the situation altogether.

2/5/2015
Irving/Texas
Anahi
Bradley/ Nimitz
I believe that public schools should handle the distribution of religious materials by not having it around the school's perimeter. I respect anyone who practices any religion they want and believe, but I personally would not want to be pressured by a religion and feel uncomfortable around them. This in a way violates the First Amendment because it was a law to permit the separation between the Church and State. Furthermore, The Temple of Satan has no right to distribute its religious materials as Christians or any sort of religion as long as it is not around the school's perimeter.

2/5/2015
Irving/Texas
Dana
Bradley/Nimitz
Religious materials should not be distributed at school because it is unconstitutional. When distributing religious materials schools tend to favor certain religions over others. Public school is very diverse therefore you cannot force religion upon all students for the simple fact that they do not all believe in the same things. Religion is a sensitive matter left up to the parents to teach their children not the teachers. If a student wishes to pursue a certain religion they may do so outside of public school, or at a private school if their parents decide religion should be taught in that way. There are many other options for those that believe that religion needs to be taught in school, and there must be a separation of church and state when it comes to public schools. If schools allow religious material to be distributed then yes the Temple of Satan has the right to distribute their material along with the other religious groups. Religion is a preference each individual student makes for themselves. To be fair and teach every religion is impossible because there are thousands of different religions that’s why I believe its more logical to keep religion out of public schools altogether.

2/4/2015
Irving/TX
Sajni
Bradley/Nimitz
I believe the distribution of religious material in schools is okay as long as the peoples or organization promoting it doesn't force it on the students. The prohibition of free exercise of religion is something that shouldn't be banned from schools because it is a part of who we are. Even then students should be mature enough to handle encounters with other religions in such an environment to prepare the for the real world where there are no such restrictions.

2/4/2015
Irving/Tx
Rabab
Bradley/Nimitz
I think there is absolutely no harm or problem in distributing religious materials unless someone is forcing a student to practice a particular religion. Distributing religious material does not harm or violate the First Amendment in any way because the First Amendment is the “Freedom of religion”, and every citizen of The United States is free to practice any religion and by distributing any sort of religious material no one is forcing students to practice the religion, they are just spreading a word of their religion. I think the Satan temple has the right to distribute their material as well because they are not forcing students to not read the bible and read their material but they are just distributing their materials as the Christian group did. As The temple said “it would rather avoid distributing its materials in schools. But, it said, since the school district allowed distribution of Christian materials, other organizations should follow suit so students have access to a variety of religious thoughts”.which is absolutely right and does not harm the beliefs of any student, they are just giving an opportunity to all students to have access to a variety of religious thoughts and after all it all depends on the students whether they choose to take that material, read it or just ignore it.

2/3/2015
Irving/Texas
Ali
Ms.Bradley/Nimitz
In public schools staff (principals, administration, teachers etc.) should never be permitted to promote religious bias towards their students, however to attempt to shelter students and completely rule out all religious affiliations between students infringes upon their rights of religious expression, but also doesn’t prepare them for the real world. Students shouldn’t be sheltered to the point that they don’t know how to handle being exposed to any religious talk or opinions outside of school. Students need to know how to live peacefully in unison with people from all religions, but also know how to formulate their own opinions, and be prepared to encounter religious talk outside of school. As for distribution of religious materials, it should not be imposed upon students from school staff, and if outside organizations want to evangelize their faith to students, they need to do so off school campuses and in a privately owned place not a government owned one, and not during school hours. The Temple of Satan does not have the right to distribute this material, and neither does any other religions. If students want to distribute religious materials among each other and discuss religion they should have the right to, as long as they are not forcing their beliefs or practices on others. The First amendment clause states a clear separation of government and religion, but also reinforces non bias of non religion over religion.

2/3/2015
Irving/TX
Cynthia
Bradley/Nimitz
In my opinion, public schools should not even have the problem of dealing with distribution of religious materials. The First Amendment builds a "wall of separation between Church and State," therefore, it should be valid to say that religion should not be involved with public schools, since it does belong to the state, and that the distribution of religious materials of any kind violates the First Amendment. The reason why there should be a separation between Church and State is because it prevents people from feeling like they are outcasts, and it prevents pressure to change one’s belief. In this case with the Orange County schools, the Temple of Satan should have the right to distribute its religion materials since the other two groups had the opportunity to do so, however, I believe that neither of the three groups should have done it in the first place, because they violated an Amendment.

2/2/2015
Murrieta,CA
ed naeemy
jabro creekside
In my opinion i think its not a bad idea to distribute some religous material but limit the distribution and those who say no I don't want it shouldn't be forced. I don't think it violates the 1st amendment. I mean i'm religous but i'm not super orthadox at all but the stuff our teens partake in and do at this young age is quite bone chilling i mean if anything a little message from the lord wouldn't hurt. True everyone has their own opinions but schools are a very diverse place. I think that the temple of satan has no right to distribute their materials. The satainc "religion" is full of negative vibes and nothing positive is being taught. With all the corruption and manuplation a little positive influence or message wouldn't hurt. I mean doing this religion thing in school isn't a good idea to begin with but if they do only certain things should be allowed. "Lets worship satan" yeah how far is that going to take you in life. Worship a guy who does nothing but make peoples life a living hell. Hes a bad influence and shouldn't be worshiped. So in the beginning i said yeah its okay to distribute but if it cause drama and causes tension its just better to stay away from all of this.

2/2/2015
Irving/Texas
Brittney R
Bradley/Nimitz
I believe that public schools should not allow any form of religious distribution, being that it does violate the First Amendment. The purpose of the First Amendment is to separate church and state, school falling under the category of state since school attendance is a law. If everyone in the United States has the right to practice his/her own religion, the learning environment in which students minds are molded, should be clear air for their own religious thoughts, not the thoughts others wish them to believe. Although I do not support the distribution of any religious materials, I do believe that is Christians are given the right to do so that the Temple of Satan should have this same right. All religions, regardless of the number of followers or who accepts it, are equal under the First Amendment.

1/30/2015
Irving/Texas
David
Bradley/Nimitz
I think schools should handle the distribution of religious materials by not allowing it at all. I am all for religion and respect anyone who wishes to practice whichever religion they choose, but I personally would not want to be pressed to anything to the point where I would feel uncomfortable. I think this sort of act would not come into violation of the 1st amendment, but at the same time isn't a strong enough case to get out of any legal problems. There are no loopholes when it comes to whether or not something is unconstitutional, but there is a point where it comes across as inappropriate. There are people out on the streets always passing out religious flyers and pamphlets, which is fine, but public school is a completely different environment where students should feel safe and free from any social pressures. The temple of Satan does have a legal right to distribute their materials, but they should keep it out of school where students come first. Religion is best kept out of school where kids are free to express their individual cultures without feeling like they are out of place or pressured.

1/30/2015
Irving/Texas
Jayden
Bradley/Nimitz
In my personal opinion, I see public school as a place of diversity, whether that diversity be religious, racial, etc. I, being an atheistic person, appreciate it when I see that my school isn’t trying to shove the Christian religion down my throat. In fact, when one of my classes has an hour long discussion about Christianity, I get really uncomfortable and end up not saying a word because I’m afraid of at least 20 people personally attacking me for not having the same beliefs as them. I cannot imagine how the Islamic, Buddhist, Atheist, Agnostic, etc. students feel while receiving a Christian bible. How does the non-Christian student population explain this to their parents? I believe in pride in one’s religion, however, I do not believe in basically forcing an entire county’s student population to study a religion that they possibly don’t believe in. According to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, the people are given the right to have freedom of religion. Freedom, in my eyes is the right to believe in whatever you choose to believe in. Schools, although they assist you in recieving a qualifying education, are in no place to bury these kids with Bibles and information about a certain religion. The only time religious works of literature, art, etc., can be allowed in schools is if the students are A) in a religion based school or B) taking a course on religion.

1/30/2015
Irving/Texas
Jamon
Bradley/Nimitz
Religion has made an impact in this world for people who choose to believe in certain things let alone have their own beliefs. Everyone has their own right or choice on what religion they want to be a part of or believe in that matter. It does have boundaries though like with bringing religion in to schools an all, should be left out of the classroom cause not many would want to comprehend with other people's beliefs let alone have an outspoken declaration on who is that superior one so no religion should brought into schools an if they do try to keep it at a minimum. As long as you don't distribute religious materials their won't be need for violation of the First Amendment.

1/29/2015
Murrieta, CA
Aislynn
Mr. Jabro Creekside High School
Nobody can force their religion on anybody else. The thing is though, it didn’t become a big deal until this “Satanist” faction came into the picture. A “Satanist” group that, after doing some research, I’ve determined is actually more of a humanist group rather than Satanist. I feel as though it is rather ridiculous that people allow bibles and atheist literature but as soon as a group that calls themselves Satanists enters the picture, it becomes a big deal. I feel as though people are going to stick to their beliefs but I don’t feel like they have the right to force their religion on anyone else. This situation shouldn’t have even started because while we do have the right to free speech, we do not have the right to force our religions on anyone. I think that if you’re going to have a religion, keep it to yourself. Other people really don’t care about what your religion is or how you believe will get you to go where you want to go. I do not preach my religion to people who don’t want to hear a word about it and I don’t think anyone else should either.

1/29/2015
Irving,TX
Hans
Bradley/Nimitz
I believe that religion as a whole should be left outside of the classroom of Public schools. Not everybody subscribes to the same faith, forcing other students who may not have the means to go to a school that endorses their respective religion, to endure the endorsement of others is unfair. It creates an awkward environment that any non Christian or non religious child wouldn’t want to be apart of. This also means that any religious material should be left out as many students could be atheist and thus having people of any faith trying to push their material on them would result in the same awkwardness and uncomfortability. people have long since gone against the ruling to keep religion out of schools, this happens far too often. The Temple of Satan is largely an atheist community using “Satan” as mascot not necessarily worshiping him as a deity, so their material is as non religious as you're going to find save for Pastafarians. As such I find theirs would be the least infringement but even still all religion should be left out. This won’t happen of course so until then I wholeheartedly endorse their distribution of religious material.

1/29/2015
Irving/Texas
Jennipher
Bradley/Nimitz
I believe that religious materials of any type should not be distributed at schools whether they are handed directly to the students or placed on a table for said students to pick up. The distribution of religious materials in schools does violate the establishment clause of the First Amendment because the law was created to keep a strong separation between Church and State. If the Christian groups were permitted to give out their materials it would not be politically correct to stop other religious groups from passing out their information. This is why all districts should uphold the same standards for all religions and keep every group from distributing their materials to the students. A school is a place where students are sent to gain knowledge of all things absolute; therefore, we should not include ideas like religion in schools because each person has their own perception of what religion is and what it should be.

1/29/2015
Irving, TX
Carol
Bradley/Nimitz
I believe that if we truly do believe in the separation between church and state we must not distribute religious texts on school grounds. The First Amendment states that the United States will not have an official religion, meaning anyone can practice what they please. I do believe that if a student wants to pursue a religious lifestyle, they can do so outside of school, but we should not thrust the religion onto the student. The distribution of religious materials doesn’t violate the First Amendment because it allows the free exercise of religion, meaning that any religion can advertise as they please. I believe that the Temple of Satan has every right to distribute materials. It is very hypocritical to say that one religious group can distribute but another one can’t. All religions are equal and should be treated as such.

1/29/2015
Irving/Texas
eddie
Bradley/Nimitz
Religious text and flyers should not be handed out in schools, unless the kids are given a fair spread and exposure of the other major religions. If you wish to educate kids on religious texts then you need to teach them about all of the religions. Handing out only one beliefs scriptures would be influencing kids and not letting them choose what fits them best. I believe there is a place for religion is schools, but for all religions, not just the one deemed right.

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