WILMINGTON — A notice circulating on Facebook about the “After School Satan Club” indicates it will hold seven events, once a month, starting on Nov. 28 and ending on May 15 at Roy E. Holmes Elementary School.
In a release, Wilmington City Schools Superintendent Jim Brady indicates this is not a school-sponsored activity and does not endorse it — along with “any other religious groups offering after-school activities on our campuses” — something the club also indicates on an apparent letter it released.
“Recently a local resident and taxpayer of Wilmington City Schools completed and submitted the required application for the Satanic Temple through the facility use agreement process, and provided the necessary documentation, and were approved,” said Brady in the release. “The district does not and is not legally allowed to discriminate against any groups who wish to use our facilities, including religiously-affiliated groups. The District has approved these types of groups in the past, one example being the Good News Club, which is an after-school child evangelism program. The Good News Club has met after school at Holmes Elementary School for years.”
According to Brady’s release, the After School Satan Club intends to meet at public schools where the Good News Club also operates.
“Either the District’s facilities are to be made available to all groups or to no groups, according to a 2001 Supreme Court ruling in favor of the Good News Club, citing if public schools rent their facilities to secular groups, they must also rent to religious groups,” said Brady.
The club’s flyer says the club will offer science projects, puzzles, games, arts and crafts, and nature activities.
The club is part of The Satanic Temple, a non-theistic religion that “views Satan literary figure who represents a metaphorical construct of rejecting tyranny and champion the human mind and spirit,” according to the flyer.
The flyer also indicates the club doesn’t attempt to convert children to any religious ideology.
“Instead, the Satanic Temple supports children to think for themselves,” the flyer states.
An apparent letter from the temple for parents states that children must have full permission from parents or guardians to take part.
For further information or questions, contact the Wilmington City School District at 937-382-1641.