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An Illinois elementary school is generating headlines after a flyer advertising an after-school Satan club surfaced online. The club meetings would be sponsored and hosted by the Satanic Temple and would take place after hours but on school property.
The flyer described the club meetings as being based on “a uniform syllabus that emphasizes a scientific, nationalist, non-superstitious worldview” and are set to be held over a period of five days at Jane Addams Elementary School in Moline.
The club is aimed at first through fifth-graders and will feature “science projects, puzzles and games, arts and crafts projects, [and] nature activities.”
A spokesperson for the Moline-Coal Valley School District released a statement defending the flyer and the club after questions were raised on social media, part of which stated there are “policies and administrative procedures in place which allow for community use of its publicly funded facilities outside the school day.”
Religious groups are permitted to rent the school’s facilities “for a fee.”
“Flyers and promotional materials for these types of groups are approved for lobby posting or display only, and not for mass distribution,” the spokesperson added. “Please note that the district must provide equal access to all groups and that students need parental permission to attend any after-school event. Our focus remains on student safety and student achievement.”
The full statement reads:
The Moline-Coal Valley School District understands that there is concern and confusion over an upcoming after-school club at Jane Addams elementary.
The District would like to provide information on the situation. The Moline-Coal Valley School District and Board of Education have policies and administrative procedures in place which allow for community use of its publicly funded facilities outside the school day.
The district does not discriminate against any groups who wish to rent our facilities, including religious-affiliated groups. Religiously affiliated groups are among those allowed to rent our facilities for a fee.
The district has, in the past, approved these types of groups, one example being the Good News Club, which is an after-school child evangelism fellowship group. Flyers and promotional materials for these types of groups are approved for lobby posting or display only, and not for mass distribution.
Students or parents are then able to pick up the flyer from the lobby, if they so choose, which is aligned to District policy. Please note that the district must provide equal access to all groups and that students need parental permission to attend any after-school event. Our focus remains on student safety and student achievement.
The founder of the Satanic Temple apparently got wind of the rules and launched the ‘club’ in response to the Evangelical group that takes place after school.
“We thought it would be nice to offer an alternative to that type of horrific indoctrination,” he said in the segment above provided by WQAD News.
The Twitter account Libs of Tik Tok shared a photo of the flyer, captioned, “An elementary school in Illinois gave out these flyers promoting an after school satan club.”
An elementary school in Illinois gave out these flyers promoting an after school satan club pic.twitter.com/ieF1wSZYds
— Libs of Tik Tok (@libsoftiktok) January 12, 2022
Reactions to the flyer covered the entire spectrum of condemnation and support, as one might imagine:
The school claims they are just renting out their space for this program pic.twitter.com/HjXhJqFpkg
— Libs of Tik Tok (@libsoftiktok) January 12, 2022
If you can have a Christian club, why not? Satanism has good things in it. But I bet all you lot criticising it haven’t even studied it.
— Steven Lornie (@Spud_Almighty) January 12, 2022
Bc you can’t have a Christian club in public school. It’s called separation of church and state and there have been several very public cases of Christians batting with school districts over prayer and other Christian ideologies. Literally like pay a single gram of attention.
— a piece of god (@un_morceau_) January 12, 2022
If Fellowship of Christian Athletes is allowed, or a Muslim Student Association, etc., as an after-school club, the First Amendment protects this club too, distasteful though it may be
— BSC (@BigSkyCountry8) January 12, 2022
Reading the fine print… I’m fine with this. They’re not devil worshippers, they’re non-religious and science-based. Works for me.
— Facts Not Feelings (@VeritasAntequam) January 12, 2022
The truly scary part about this is the comments section. It’s unbelievable how many people actually AGREE with this! Folks, we are in the end of days. Find Jesus Christ before it’s too late!
— Mike (@MaGiC_CiTy_305) January 12, 2022
Please homeschool your kids.
— Rain Ω Mars me adiuvat! (@Rain_skullboy) January 12, 2022
Fun fact I was an atheist all my life
Infact I even became an ordained minister of the church of the flying spaghetti monster as a joke.
Evil is real and it’s here. I found my peace with God and it’s perfectly fine that I was once blind.
Evil is here and it’s coming fast
— Have No Fear Shane Is Here! ⓥ❺❽❾ (@Onyxninja94) January 12, 2022
You’ve been triggered by the word Satan, read the fine print. I’d send my sons to that, rationalism and critical thinking are great things to be teaching kids, especially these days
— Rich Fletcher (@Pork_Enthusiast) January 12, 2022
If you feel the need to prominently state that the people you’re giving children over to have passed criminal background checks then maybe the event isn’t that great for them
— ripx4nutmeg (@ripx4nutmeg) January 12, 2022
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