- The Washington Times - Monday, December 5, 2022

An “After School Satan Club” is poised to start at an elementary school in Chesapeake, Virginia, prompting a backlash from parents ahead of the first meeting on Dec. 15.

A director for the club told WTKR that club activities will be about brainstorming instead of “fire and brimstone.”

“The Satanic Temple is a non-theistic religion that views Satan as a literary figure who represents a metaphorical construct of rejecting tyranny and championing the human mind and spirit,” a Facebook flyer says. “After School Satan Club does not attempt to convert children to any religious ideology. Instead, the Satanic Temple supports children to think for themselves.”

Some parents said they are concerned about a satanic club convening at a school for children who are young and impressionable.

The B.M. Williams Primary School says the club is not school district-approved and its hands are tied because of constitutional protections that allow clubs of various faiths to use its facilities.

“The School District has long held policies and procedures in place which allow varied community groups to use our publicly funded facilities outside of the school day,” Chesapeake Public Schools told families in a statement. “This is common practice among school districts around the state and nation. Over the years, different religious groups have requested and been allowed to rent our facilities after hours. By law, CPS cannot discriminate based on beliefs among groups wishing to rent our facilities.”

The school emphasized that it does not endorse activities by the club and that students need parental permission to attend events held by outside organizations.

The situation around the club will be discussed at a board meeting on Dec. 12.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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