Atheist group's lawsuit against Orange County School District thrown out

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A judge dismissed a lawsuit against the Orange County School District.

Before the dispute could play out in court, the school board agreed an atheist group could distribute its pamphlets when Christian groups leave Bibles inside certain public schools.

But, officials would not tell WFTV why they changed their minds.

An atheist group was allowed to leave pamphlets about atheism at schools like Boone High School last year, but they claimed the district censored their views so they took it to court. 

The district allowed a Christian group to leave Bibles for students at 11 high schools.

That led to David Williamson and the Central Florida Free Thought Community to leave pamphlets about atheism at the same schools.

But the district wouldn't allow all of the literature because they said titles like "Jesus is dead" and "Why I am not a Muslim" would cause disruption.  So, Williamson's group sued the district over freedom of speech.

"There's no censorship at all taking place on the Bible, but there's censorship on our materials," said Williamson.

WFTV found out the judge dismissed the case because school board members changed their minds and agreed to allow all of the group's materials.

Williamsons' group is appealing the case and it's still pending litigation.

"What's the point in appealing if you're getting what you want?" WFTV reporter Deneige Broom asked.

"Well, there's no policy right now to ensure the school board won't discriminate against minority opinions," said Williamson.

Williamson wants that policy on the books.

The school district did not comment on how much the lawsuit is costing them.

Williamson said his group only planned to distribute their pamphlets in the same places that Christian groups shared their Bibles.

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