A Pennsylvania school district has struck down a proposal from a parent who wanted to create an "After School Satan Club" at an elementary school for students who are eager to participate in non-religious extracurricular activities. On Tuesday, the Northern York County School Board in Dillsburg, Pennsylvania voted 8 to 1 to reject the request to establish the club at Northern Elementary School.
During Tuesday's meeting, the agenda involved a certain Samantha Groome, who sought to create the "After School Satan Club" on a "probationary basis," the Christian Post reported. A video clip of the board meeting obtained by the York Daily Record, showed parents and community members standing up and applauding after the school board struck down the proposal.
Groome sought the "After School Satan Club" because she wanted her children to have the option to participate in extracurricular activities. The school had the Joy El Christian club, a secular club that operates nine of 16 school districts in the county and provides off-campus activities. Groome was looking for an alternative to this club.
Despite Northern York County's rejection of the "After School Satan Club," other school districts in the country actually have extracurricular programs sponsored by the Satanic Temple. For example, Jane Addams Elementary School in Moline, Illinois had distributed flyers promoting its "After School Satan Club" earlier this year, for which they received criticism.
At one of its elementary schools, the Moline-Coal Valley School District defended its decision to allow such a club to exist. It argued that the "After School Satan Club" "does not discriminate against any groups who wish to rent our facilities, including religious-affiliated groups." It added that "religiously affiliated groups are among those allowed to rent our facilities for a fee." The Moline-Coal Valley School District also cited the Good News Club as an example of a religious organization that allows others to use its facilities despite not supporting their message.
During the Pennsylvania school board meeting, Lucien Greaves, cofounder of The Satanic Temple that sponsors the after school club, remarked that "It was clear these people had no idea who we are, and what we are doing," Penn Live reported.
Community member Paul Miller took to the microphone to denounce those who supported the After School Satan Club, telling them, "You shouldn't be here. There's no room for you here. If this freaking group does get voted in, let's do something about it."
Meanwhile, one Northern York County High School junior student defended the group, saying, "I am a religious person myself, however, I've often found myself at the teeth-end of Christian love. I find they can be quite intolerant at times. They can push people away easily."
The Satanic Temple describes its mission as to "encourage benevolence and empathy, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense, oppose injustice and undertake noble pursuits," which has been criticized by Becky Rosely of Dillsburg as a "complete contradiction" because of tyranny as one of its core values.