School District Sued for Banning Bibles on Religious Freedom Day

For years, the Collier County School district allowed a local Christian organization, World Changers of Florida, to distribute free Bibles to interested students during off-school hours on January 16 for Religious Freedom Day.

Now the group is filing suit after being told by the school board that it can no longer distribute the Bibles on campus because they do not provide any educational benefit to the students.

The school board and superintendent “have denied World Changers access for no other reason than the religious content and viewpoint of the literature it wishes to distribute, specifically Bibles,” the lawsuit contends. “This unequal treatment, based upon the religious nature of the literature World Changers wishes to distribute, is unconstitutional content-based discrimination,
because World Changers’ materials otherwise fit within the parameters Defendants set for the forum.”

The group goes on to say that the school allowed other secular organizations to distribute literature but prevented World Changers from doing so even though it complied with all of the school’s guidelines.

“We are compelled to sue to protect the right simply to make free Bibles available to students in public schools,” Mathew Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel, the legal group representing World Changers said in a statement. “Many of our founding fathers were taught to read using the Bible.

If it had no educational value, then many of them would have been illiterate. The distribution of religious literature in a forum opened for secular literature is constitutionally protected.”

The lawsuit seeks to have the school district’s actions declared unconstitutional and requests legal fees and unspecified nominal damages.

Collier County School District did not respond to requests from for comment.

Click here to read the lawsuit.