'After school Satan Club' offered to Virginia primary school students

"Hey Kids! Let's Have Fun At After School Satan Club!" a flier promoting the new program reads.

Parents of the Chesapeake, Virginia public school system are concerned after a new program — the "After School Satan Club" — formed by the Satanic Temple in order to combat Christian "indoctrination," obtained official approval to start holding meetings at a local primary school.

"Hey Kids! Let's Have Fun At After School Satan Club!," a flier promoting the new program reads. The club highlighted that it promotes skills like "critical thinking," creative expression," and "personal sovereignty."

According to the flier, "The Satanic Temple is a non-theistic religion that views Satan as a literary figure that represents a metaphorical construct of rejecting tyranny and championing the human mind and spirit. After School Satan Club does not attempt to convert children to any religious ideology. Instead, The Satanic Temple supports children to think for themselves. All After School Satan Clubs are based on activities centered around The Seven Fundamental Tenets, and emphasize a scientific, rationalist, and non-superstitious worldview."

The Seven Fundamental Tenets, according to the Satanic Temple, include "beliefs should conform to one's best scientific understanding of the world," and "the struggle for justice is an ongoing and necessary pursuit that should prevail over laws and institutions."

The leaders of this club, who's first meeting will be held on December 15 at B.M. Williams Primary School, have come under fire from local parents who object to the club being included at their children's schools.

Rose Bastet, a member of the Satanic Temple and an organizer of the After School Satan Club, captioned the flier with "Satan Loves Me This I Know, For My Inbox Tells Me So."

"I'm so very excited to announce that an After School Satan Club is ready to launch at B.M. Williams Primary School in Chesapeake, Virginia on December 15th," Bastet said. 

Her recent profile pictures include an illustration of a woman with a pentagram on her forehead and blood dripping from her eyes and mouth, a depiction of a woman taking off her skin to reveal a devil beneath, and a cartoon depiction of God saying "Disappointments, all of you."

"Some very eager parents contacted us in October requesting ASSC, and we have just received official district approval! Please help us spread the word if you know anyone in the area that has a kiddo that would like to join us. I will be one of the three volunteers set to help run this ASSC, and it is going to be AWESOME," the Satanist said, linking to an online permission slip.

In response to a parent who questioned the inclusion of Satanism in public elementary schools, Bastet wrote that the club was formed in response to a Christian program called "The Good News Club."

"I would like to add that this club is only happening because of the Evangelical club that is already present at the school… that does aim at indoctrinating children and we received a request from a concerned parent to make sure there is another club available to kids that don't wish to be taught that they are sinful and subject to burning in hell for all eternity for slight infractions," Bastet said. 

Another volunteer organizer, June Everett, recently shared a mascot for the After School Satan Club: a cartoon depiction of the devil.

According to another post from Everett, the program at B.M. Williams Primary School will be the fifth After School Satan Club in program. She also advertises being an "ordained minister" of the Satanic Temple.

"Stuff like this is why the wife and I are sacrificing so much to send our son to a private school," commented one community member on a Facebook thread where the flier was reposted.

Another commenter noted that the club is already scheduling events in other schools, posting about an upcoming "Family Movie Night" the Satanists are planning at Jefferson Forest High School in Bedford County.

Bedford County Public Schools gave a statement to ABC13.

"In accordance with BCPS Policy KG - Community Use of School Facilities, our venues are available to organizations that comply with the guidelines set forth in this policy. Per Policy KG, the Board shall not discriminate against any group on the basis of viewpoint or any other prohibited basis," a district spokesperson said.

"Per BCPS Policy KG, this organization conducted all steps necessary to complete a lease agreement for the event. The division has no other involvement with this event," they added.

Chesapeake Public Schools on Friday released a similar statement to 3WTKR.

"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. 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," said superintendent Dr. Jared Cotton.

"Consistent with the law as detailed above and the criteria set out in the CPS Board policy regarding community use of facilities, the School District has approved a building use request from an organization known as the 'After School Satan Club' (ASSC) to host gatherings after school hours at B.M. Williams Primary School," he continued, adding that students must obtain parental permission to attend any after school event hosted by an outside organization. 

Dr. Cotton also noted that the district did not endorse the activities of the club, nor does the school board approve of building use forms and hasn't voted in this case.

"Please note, we have added this item to the agenda for the next regular meeting of the School Board on December 12, 2022, for further discussion," he said. "Citizens are welcome to attend and may address the Board during the Hearing of Citizens portion of the meeting. For more information on how to sign up to speak, visit our website."

"We remain committed to working to minimize any distractions this news may create, while ensuring our focus is always on providing a safe and secure learning environment for our students.  Thank you for your understanding and support," the message concluded.

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