Updated:ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. —
The Florida Family Policy Council, in coordination with World Changers of Florida and local churches, distributed copies of the Bible at several Florida public high school campuses in Orange and Collier counties Thursday.
In recognition of Religious Freedom Day, the groups said nine of 20 high schools, including Oak Ridge High School, were given copies of the Bible that were made available for students to pick up at tables.
"There was a really good, positive response," said Elisheba Santa of Florida Family Policy Council.
The volunteers left the Bibles on designated tables with a sign indicating they are free and can be picked up if a student wishes to do so.
"This is a great opportunity for students who may never be exposed to Christianity to own and read a book that is not only the best-selling book of all times, but is the most important piece of literature in the development of western civilization," said John Stemberger, president of the Florida Family Policy Council.
The arrangement has been approved by courts after a Collier County challenge to the procedure by atheist groups that objected to the practice.
Last year, volunteers with World Changers of Florida placed Bibles at 11 high schools in the lunchroom.
At that time, a memo from Orange County Public Schools' attorney explained that the district is allowing the distribution to avoid a lawsuit.
World Changers sued the Collier County School Board for not allowing the Bibles to be given out three years ago.
A United States district court judge ruled that the Bible distribution must be allowed, as long as it is done passively.
The attorney for Orange County Public Schools said it is also legally obligated to allow other groups to distribute materials.