Elementary School Nixes Trial Run Of School Satan Club

An initiative to start an after school program run by the Church of Satan was nixed, but the decision might face litigation.

By Erika Hanson | Published

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church of satan

If you thought parents were outraged after high school students asked their teacher if she was married –to which she replied no, she was gay – then wait until you get ahold of this fresh story coming from York, Pennsylvania. The Church of Satan, a religious organization, was looking to implement the group into an elementary school after-school program subsequently at the request of a local parent, and member of the church. The trial run period just ended, and the initiative was quickly nixed.

The club was originally proposed by the parent and rejected by the principal. Following that, the Church of SatanSatan member took matters to the school board, where the district board members begrudgingly agreed to give the after-school program a trial run. As the club’s temporary period came to an end last night on April 19th, the Satanic club was shot down in an 8 to 1 vote.

church of satan

According to local news WGAL, hundreds of attendees were packed into the school board meeting last night to show opposition to the club run by the Church of Satan. “I never thought anything like this would come to the district… I don’t want my son to be exposed to anything of the sort,” said one parent, Amy Wintermyer. “If you want to have a Satan club or if you have a group of parents who want to have a Satan club or want their kids raised to think that Satan is about truth or reason, do it off campus after hours, and I say the same thing to the Christian community,” said Ray Sibley. But the l few that supported the Satanic Club are not giving up the fight either. “If they deny us the use of a public facility, which they have no right to do it’ll have to move into litigation, costly litigation that the community is going to have to pay for,” said Lucian Greaves, a spokesperson for the Temple.

Whether or not you agree with the club, Greaves makes a good point. Under the First Amendment of the Constitution, public schools are prohibited from limiting access of religious groups to school facilities and resources for the purpose of religious expression. Furthermore, the Equal Access Act provides similar protection to ensure that student religious groups have the same access to after-school facilities on an equal basis as other after-school groups. Given that The Church of Satan is a fully-registered religion that has been recognized for nearly seven decades, they are protected under the constitution. 

church of satan

Currently across the United States, the Church of Satan has four established afters school clubs operating out of public school buildings. One of those is located in Moline, Illinois, and was also met with strict pushback before the state ruled the school could not reject the organization from forming the program for students. It is touted as an effort by the Church of Satan to give students an alternative to mainstream after-school programs that are often run by Christian church affiliates, like the Good News Club. The Good News Club has a program at the Moline school also, and their mission, which the Iowa State Director of Child Evangelism Fellowship says is to mold better students and citizens through the gospel implemented through activities and games, sounds very similar to the fundamentals the Church of Satan lays out for their after school group.

According to the Church of Satan, the after-school program promotes “self-directed” education by investing in children’s creative interests. The program for elementary students offers activities such as science projects, puzzles, and games, and boasts of teaching young children empathy, critical thinking, problem-solving, and creative expression. As a further step to try to rid the religious  affiliation of its association with devil worshipers, Greaves said, “I’m hoping that with our presence, people can see that good people can have different perspectives, sometimes on the same mythology, but not mean any harm.”

As of now, there will be no Satanic Club in York, Pennsylvania. But given the school board’s decision, and the pushback from the Church of Satan referring to the constitution, the battle might not be over yet. And even as plenty of parents push back and draw more attention to the matter, the story just might open up another can of worms fueling the war on education, this time concerning religious freedom.