Everett said the clubs require parental permissions for children to participate and that the clubs’ age range, grades one through five, reflects the same grade levels as the Good News Club which operates from l Donovan Elementary School for several years. The club will meet from 3:50 p.m. to 5 p.m., 3:50 p.m. to 5 p.m. on January 27, February 24, March 24, April 21 and May 19.
On Thursday, Lebanese School Superintendent Isaac Seevers sent a letter to parents and the community about the social media ad The Satanic Temple After-School Satan Club planning to meet at Donovan Elementary School in from next week.
In the letter, Seevers said, “The District understands the concern and confusion caused by a certain group who advertised an after-school facility rental online. The Satanic Temple After-School Satan Club is NOT a district or school sponsored event. Lebanon City Schools does not endorse the activities or intent of this group or any other religious group offering extracurricular activities on our campuses. »
In many religious traditions, the name Satan refers to a devil.
The After School Satan Club began meeting at a school in Moline, Illinois on Jan. 13, according to Everett. She said the organization originally started in 2016-17 in Utah, Washington and Oregon. However, they did not continue when the COVID-19 pandemic began and had a two-year hiatus which allowed for the program to be restructured, Everett said.
According to information obtained through a public records request, The Satan Temple applied to use Donovan Elementary on October 27. The request was denied on December 3 because the request did not have a local resident on the request to use the facilities. A local resident who will be the club’s volunteer leader accepted the role, allowing the board to approve the request on January 10. The district does not charge a fee for using the facilities, according to district spokeswoman Wendy Planicka.
Informational flyers and permission slips were made available at the school on Thursday, according to Planicka. She said only one clearance slip was returned to the school office on Friday afternoon.
Planicka said Donovan Elementary is home to about 820 third- and fourth-grade students.
The local volunteer was contacted by the Dayton Daily News and declined to comment, referring all questions to Everett.
The Satanic Temple states on its website that the group does not worship Satan and believes that religion should be separated from superstition.
“To adopt the name Satan is to embrace a rational pursuit away from supernaturalism and archaic tradition-based superstitions,” the group states. “Satanists should actively work to hone critical thinking and exercise reasonable agnosticism in all things.”
Many residents of Lebanon have expressed anger that a group named after Satan is allowed in school.
Seevers said the school district is not legally allowed to discriminate against groups who want to rent its facilities, including religious groups. Seevers said the district’s focus remains on student safety and success, and the district has no involvement other than approving the space rental.
“Either district facilities must be available to all groups or no groups, according to a 2001 Supreme Court ruling in favor of the Good News Club, citing whether public schools rent their facilities to secular groups , they must also rent to religious. groups,” Seevers’ letter said.