Click to see March story

March our viewIn the March print issue of the newspaper, the Our View: “Satanic Temple deserves fair shot” took the stance that the school board arrived at the right decision by forbidding “passive distribution,” but for the wrong reasons.

Here are some of your responses to OCPS’ new passive distribution policy:

They should be able to hand out the booklets. The reason for this is because Satanism is like any other religion. It is their opinion on life, and they have the right to express it.

Carson Tinsley, freshman

I feel the Satanic Temple should be allowed to distribute literature like the other religions have. I say this because it is only fair, if bibles are available for students then so should this book, because it is not Orange County’s choice on what high school students or staff is allowed to read. To be completely honest, I am a christian and I would never take a book about satan but that is my choice, and I live in a nation that allows me to have that choice and no county, state or government will ever take that away from me. Christianity isn’t the only religion out there and it is sad to know that Orange County doesn’t believe it’s people have a right to information.

Jae Crawford, freshman

The separation between church and state has long been an uneasy subject for Americans to talk about. Recently the issue revolving around the attempt distribution of literature from the Satanic Temple has rekindled the debate. In my opinion, the distribution of religious material should be allowed on public schools campuses under one condition; the students receiving this material must be at an age at which they can consciously make a decision whether to take or not to take the material being distributed. For example, giving religious material to a elementary school aged child seems inappropriate as they are not yet able to understand what they are talking. Regardless of public perceptions on the Satanic Temple, it is legally regarded as a religion, therefore it deserved the same rights as all the other religions or organization in the U.S. That being said I do believe the Satanic Temple should be able to distribute their materials on public school campuses, so long as the students receiving it are able to understand and make a choice to take said materials.

Joshua Dawson, junior

Yes, I believe the Satanic Temple should be allowed to distribute literature like the other religious have. I believe this because of our natural born rights and the First Amendment that claims we have freedom of religion. As long as the school is not forcing the students to get the book or read it, I think it’s fine. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion about a religion but Satanic is no less or no more than any other religious literature being distributed.

Paola Romero, freshman

The Satanic Temple should be allowed to distribute their book if bibles are being allowed to be distributed. In the very First Amendment of religions of our Constitutions, personally freedoms are outlined. The freedom of religion is one is one of these. Whether it be the Torah, Koran or the holy book of scientology, if one of the books is allowed to distributed, all religious books should be allowed regardless of the religion. Some may say that offering the Satanic book will make the kids Satanic and advocate satanism. Yet, by only allowing the bible to be passed out and banning a practice because a controversial religion wants to join. This school board is being discriminatory. The bottom line is that we either allow freedom of all religions or none at all and that is the only way to be truly equal and just. By banning “passive distribution” the school board only proved that they weren’t willing to make the former choice. Given how tolerant our generation is, this is unacceptable and behind the times.

Ethan Lyttle, junior

Yes, the Satanic Temple should be allowed to distribute literature like the other religions. I believe that it should because who are we to judge people’s belief/religion. For example, muslims wear those things to cover their face because it’s their belief. Christians go to church on sunday because it’s their belief. What I’m trying to say is that people should be allowed to distribute whatever they want because for them it’s the right thing to do even if other religious contradict everything that the Satanic Temple has to teach or distribute.

Gabriel Tenurio, junior

I think no religions should be able to distribute to students because if one religion is not allowed to do it, it is unfair to them. The satanic temple should have been allowed to distribute to the students because as long as they do not engage the students, they are not breaking the rules.

Madylan Hudson, freshman

The satanic temple should be allowed to distribute their literature like all other religions because of a policy is in passed to do so, no religion should be denied. There should be no right religion in our country because we are given the basic right to choose our own religion. We are a community of differing peoples and we cannot allow one religion to be shut out because they may disagree with others. The right to choose is one of our most sacred rights and to be able to choose we need as much information on the subject as possible.

Conor Nieberlein, senior

The Satanic temple should be allowed to distribute literature like other religions have. Although I am Christian, I don’t feel the need to ban or denounced other peoples views – especially views I don’t know about. I might even read the literature so I can understand my peers better and know what they believe.

Julia Collazo, senior

No, they should not pass out these books because it would teach you worshiping the devil and other bad things.

Cedric Burrell, freshman

I think the Satanic Temple should have all the same rights as any other religious group, and as long as it’s passive distribution, all religious should be allowed to distribute their literature. It’s called Freedom of Religion, not Freedom of Christianity.

Cristian Torres, junior

The Satanic Temple should be allowed to distribute literature like other religions. The literature passed out by any religion is to educate and involve outsiders in their religion. Discriminating against the Satanic Temple is wrong. There is also the matter of the fact that no one is forcing you to worship Satan, they are simply informing you of it.

Alveena Sarwar, freshman

I think that passive distribution should not have been allowed to begin with, but since it was, I believe that any religious organization should be able to do so, regardless of any beliefs that are held by said organizations. The rule does not ban any specific organizations from passively distributing anything.

Kevin Mercado, senior

No, because Satanic is violent and vulgar which would probably start a problem at school with students and teachers. Also, there would be arguments which will lead to fights.

Brandon Reining, junior

I think they should be allowed to distribute their literature. Any and every religion should have had the opportunity to express their views. Orange County is wrong for discriminating the religion.

Jefry Martinez, junior

Honestly, yes I do believe the Satanic Temple should be allowed to do that. Even though I do not believe in this group, everyone should be treated equal. No matter what they believe in. This is a classic freedom of speech.

Ashley Soto, junior

Yes, the Satanic Temple should be allowed to distribute literature like the other religions have. The policy is the allowance for the “passive distribution” of religious materials and the Satanic Temple is a religion. The materials are not being forced upon the children, they can take one if they want, or not take one. It’s their choice.

Madeline Hemmede, sophomore

I believe in equality. America is known as the home of the free and the brave. As a place known for such things, religion is completely up to the people. Whether you worship God or the devil, you shouldn’t be judged as America is home of the free. So I think that there are really two options to with with this problem. One, ban all religious texts from school, or two, allow all religious texts into school no matter how silly or morally wrong. By not allowing the certain texts into school, you may be insulting someone’s way of life and beliefs.

Brent McFadden, freshman

Sure, why not? Equality to all. Be it sex, race, religion or anything else, equal rights should be given to everyone and everything. Besides, it’s not like you have to accept the literature; you can just say no thank you.

David Jamieson, freshman

I believe the Satanic Temple should be allowed to distribute their literature. Not allowing them to is taking away their First Amendment right. They should be allowed to give what they want because people believe in Satanism and it’s showing they’re not as equal as Christianity and other religions. Students don’t have to take the book because no one’s forcing them to, or to switch religions.

Bryanna Lankim, junior

I don’t think anybody should be able to distribute their religions because this would bring many different religions from school. Some people’s religions may get mad. I think this should stay the same as it is now.

Tray Sims, junior

I believe if the policy is going to be open for one religion it should be open for all religions, otherwise it shouldn’t be allowed at all because how can the distribution of one religion book be constitutional but the distribution of a different religion book be unconstitutional. If one religion can distribute their beliefs, all other recognized religions should be able to too, even if they are much less popular or possibly more offensive, if they are a recognized religion they deserve the right too.

Jacob Stein, senior

I believe the Satanic Temple should be allowed to distribute their literature. If they were the main religion in America than they most likely would have been able to distribute. I’m not a satanist myself but I find it wrong that this religion is not allowed to be heard.

Kobe Grenier, freshman

Although my belief system does not align with the Satanic Temple, I do believe that religious rules should not exclude a single religion. The satanic literature may frighten or offend students. How the distribution of literature would not engage students following the policy like any other religion.

Cara Eakins, freshman

I’m a strong believer in equal rights, so yes, I think that the Satanic Temple should be able to distribute and discuss their non-religious beliefs as well. If we are going to discriminate just because we don’t agree with someone elses beliefs how is it fair we allow religious such as christianity to be distributed and discussed among schools. Not being religious isn’t inappropriate, just as being religious isn’t inappropriate. They should be free to distribute the literature just as other religions are. There shouldn’t be biases on non-religious beliefs. The policy should be open to everyone.

Jennifer Sherin, freshman

No, because then all the religions are against each other it going to cause problem so I prefer if religions keep their belief in their own church, school or himself. Let people believe in what they want to believe in. Also it might start a riot in school or public place.

Miguel A. Peralta, junior

No because this is America and our pledge strictly says “Our nation under God” not our nation under Satan. Our kids in this generation are like sponges and they are soaking up everything that is handed to them. Good not evil. Let’s keep it a nation under god. Amen.

Stori Giroux, junior

Yes because it would be unfair to them. Even though a lot of people are against satanism it is still a religion that some people believe in.

Isaias Lusa, junior

Yes because everyone should get a chance to learn about religions and to try to find their way and what they want to believe in.

Nicole Vaughn, junior

No because they do not have the right. No religion has the right to distribute literature because it can influence a kid’s life and cause them to act out. Mixing in a different religion into a child’s life can cause this child confusion. The Satanic Temple prompts bad ideas and influences a child. I don’t agree with it, no religion should distribute literature.

Thalia Brache, junior

I believe that no religion should distribute their Literature on school campus. Religion is a touchy subject, so to prevent problems keeping all religious materials off school campus would be the best fix. Also certain religious are bit crazy, so it would be for the best.

Jacob Manns, junior

The Satanic Temple should be able to distribute literature, like other religions, because of OCPS policy. Revoking this policy is unjust, unethical, and bias. If America supports freedom of religion and speech so should the county of a state, without bias. Allowing this policy shows that the state and religion are not separated. Revoking this policy now that a “non-christian” church wishes to distribute its beliefs is unconstitutional and a restriction on that religion and religion before that. Students make a conscious decision to take the literature provided and it is up to the students to reject it.

Eliezer Lopez, freshman

Yes, because we all have rights to do and say what we want, nothing should hold us back. Our country fights for us to be free and we should take advantage of our rights.

Melissa Soto-Morales, junior

Other religions should not distribute literature concerning their beliefs at school. From 7:30am to 2:14pm the student body should only be focused on their planned curriculum. If they’re interested in other religions they should take their own time to do so. I’m a Christian and contrary to popular beliefs I don’t want to force my religion down other peoples’ throats and I would appreciate if other people do the same. Your religion is your belief and at school we don’t learn opinions we learn facts. Keeping religions literature away from school, unless it’s being analyzed in an English class, is the most responsible solution.

Hanna Wilson, junior

I think that the Satanic Temple should be allowed to distribute their literature like the other religions because one perk of being an American is to have freedom of religion. With freedom of religion, people are allowed to read or believe whatever they want to read or believe. I see no problem in giving their books to whoever wants them. If you don’t want them, fine, but other people might. That’s a problem with our society, but if we don’t like what other people are doing, we think it is the wrong thing to do. I say let them be able to get one of these books.

Jennifer Wisor, freshman

Relating to the passive distribution policy, the policy should not have been banned just because a religion that is unfavorable to most decided to partake in it. Since the decision of whether to take the piece of literature from the Satanic Temple was completely up to the students then the religion should not be held accountable for any negative influences on the students. Since everyone has the freedom to choose their own religion in the United States the OCPS should not have the ability to undermine a religion. The passive distribution policy should be unbanned and the Satanic Temple should be allowed to hand out literature, as so to any other religion. So long as the behavior and their ability to follow the proper rules does not violate any already existing policy then no religion should have a negative bias towards it.

Francisco Rivera, sophomore

By Renee Burke

I currently work as a Media Promotions Manager for OCPS. I taught at William R. Boone HS in Orlando for 22 years, and was JEA's 2015 H.L. Hall Yearbook Adviser of the Year, the 2012 OCPS Teacher of the Year, 2011 FSPA Journalism Teacher of the Year, and a 2011 Gold Key recipient from CSPA. I advised the Legend yearbook and Hi-Lights newspaper for 20 and 21 years, respectively. Both publications earned CSPA Crown awards and NSPA Pacemakers.

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