Pennsylvania school will allow a back-to-school “Satanic Club” event Sept. 24 despite restricting Christian meetings. Ashley Lynn Crider, a parent in the Northern York County School District, discussed what she calls the district’s double standard as it pertains to religious liberty.
“If they do a Bible study, the church has to pay to bus the students off of school grounds, and then they bring the students back,” she said on Fox News. “We send our kids to school to get an education. Anything beyond that is home life or in your community. It doesn’t matter what any child believes, or their family believes… this is a public school. We send our children to school to get an education, not for all this other stuff that is meant for outside of school.”
Crider said many students are not OK with the district allowing the Satanic Temple event, and those advocating for the event are not members of the school district. She also mentioned she was even silenced when trying to sound the alarm during a school board meeting.
“They cut my mic off; I was mad,” she said. “They shut my mic off. They don’t address anything at those meetings. They’re just here like they’re to listen to everybody, so nothing’s ever addressed. People that were there for the Satanic Club, like I said, they couldn’t even talk during that meeting, because they’re not in the community.”
Lucian Graves, co-founder of the Satanic Temple, released a statement defending the event despite widespread backlash. “We don’t decry or begrudge anybody having a prayer event or anything like that,” his statement said. “It does become a problem, a serious problem, when you allow a back-to-school prayer event but you don’t allow any other religious representation.”
However, the club’s members have specifically stated they are attempting to reach children to counter after-school Bible clubs, though the Bible events take place off school property. The Satanic group’s website states the “After School Satan Clubs meet at select public schools where Good News Clubs and other religious clubs meet. Clubs are set up at the request of local parents, educators, or other community members that would like to see the program offered.”
The Satanic club seems to be infatuated with the Good News Clubs. It devotes numerous pages explaining what the Bible clubs are and how they are operated.
The school district also responded to the community’s outrage, saying, “As a public school district, the use of our school facilities must be permitted without discrimination. We cannot and do not arbitrarily pick and choose which organizations may or may not use our facilities. If we allow one organization, we must allow all organizations. In approving any request, the school district does not endorse the activity of any outside organization that rents our facilities. Nor are these entities permitted to use the school district’s name or logo.”
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice