A California elementary school will introduce an “After School Satan Club” to its curriculum.
Students at Golden Hills Elementary School will soon be able to attend the club, sponsored by the Satanic Temple and Reason Alliance, ABC 33/40 reported. The temple is a non-theistic religious group, not to be confused with the Church of Satan.
The group describes its program as “self-directed education” that aims to support “the intellectual and creative interests of students.” They set up the club at the request of parents, educators or “other community members,” according to the temple’s website.
“While the classes are designed to promote intellectual and emotional development in accordance with TST’s tenets, no proselytization or religious instruction takes place,” a statement on the group’s website reads, adding that it is “not interested in converting children to satanism.”
The ASSC started within the last 10 years by Lucien Greaves, who also serves as the group’s spokesman.
He told ABC 33/40 that the group tries to “keep religious matters out of the teachings of the after-school Satan clubs.”
“The fact of the matter is, there’s nothing to be offended by, and we don’t want people to be unaware of who we are when we run these programs, as we think there would be a more intense backlash if we were trying to hide it,” said Greaves.
But some parents remain outraged with the program’s inclusion in the school, with one parent saying that it’s “disgusting.”
“I understand the school has to allow them because they allow other after-school programs such as The Good News, which is a Christian-based after-school program. That one I’m OK with, but I can’t imagine why anyone would want their child to attend this Satanic group,” Sheila Knight, a Golden Hills grandmother, said.
Another ASSC program ran at a Pennsylvania school in September, and the school noted that it had to allow the club as part of its directive as a public school district.
“As a public school district, the use of our school facilities must be permitted without discrimination,” Northern York County School District said in a statement. “We cannot and do not arbitrarily pick and choose which organization may or may not use our facilities.”
“If we allow one organization, we must allow all organizations, provided they satisfy the conditions and application requirements as set forth in Policy 707,” the statement added.