The Satanic Temple took legal action against a Pennsylvania elementary school when it rejected a bid to create an After School Satan Club.
The Satanic Temple is accusing the Northern Elementary School in York, Pennsylvania of violating the Constitution after the school rejected a parent's bid to establish an After School Satan Club. Northern Elementary School said that the club would have a better chance of being approved if the word "Satan" was removed from its name.
According to KTUL, the Satanic Temple's general counsel Mathew Kezhaya said that the main issue of the litigation is whether the Northern York County School Board was discriminating against their organization by allowing other after school clubs but not one sponsored by the Satanic Temple. He added that the lawsuit may take up to 18 months to two years to be completed. If the Supreme Court decides to take the case, it may even take a longer time.
Kezhaya alleged that the Northern York County superintendent claimed to be concerned about public backlash due to the lack of interested parties. According to the Gateway Pundit, "Kezhaya said this is proof their club's communicative activities popularity was improperly considered when determining their future with equal access to government property, the school."
Kezhaya claims that this is against the First Amendment, arguing that it "prohibits a government from considering the popularity of communicative activity when determining whether to facilitate that communicative activity on equal terms with other, similarly situated, groups."
The Satanic Temple spokesperson Lucien Greaves told Fox News on Sunday, "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."
On its website, the Satanic Temple described the After School Satan Club as an after-school program that "promotes self-directed education by supporting the intellectual and creative interests of students." When the proposal for an After School Satan Club was struck down by the Northern Elementary School, Greaves commented that the denial of use of a public facility would push them into "costly litigation that the community is going to have to pay for."
The issue began last week when a parent suggested to the Northern York County School Board in Dillsburg, Pennsylvania to create an After School Satan Club for students who want to participate in non-religious extracurricular activities. However on Tuesday, the school board voted 8 to 1 to reject such a proposal. A video clip showed parents and community members bursting into applause and standing up in response to the rejection of the proposal.
One parent who recently moved to Dillsburg named Jackie Bieber shared during the board meeting that she just lost a child to suicide that was influenced by a website run by a Satanic group, Penn Live reported. She alleged, "They gave her step-by-step instructions. We move over here, and now we find out there's an after-school Satan club."
Another community member by the name of Wes Gessaman argued, "When I hear Satan, I don't research that. I don't look it up. I'm not about to let it slip through my fingers. I could have stopped this from happening to others' children."