Parents are outraged after learning that a California elementary school is allowing an ‘After School Satan Club’ on campus for children as young as five.
The club was recently created at Golden Hills Elementary School in Tehachapi, California, located in Kern County.
In an interview with KBAKone parent described the decision to allow the club, founded by the Satanic Temple and the Alliance of Reason, as “disgusting”, while another called it “a mistake”.
That kind of reaction was expected, according to Paul Hicks, the man who will lead the club at the Northern California school.
“We’ve already received threats against us,” said Hicks, who is also a professor of critical thinking. As he would often say, there is no hate like Christian love.
After School Satan Club is intended to ‘educate children and encourage critical thinking’
Parents are furious over Tehachapi Unified School District’s endorsement of the club
The club is meant to “educate children and encourage critical thinking,” according to Lucien Greaves, spokesman for the After School Satan Club.
Greaves says that despite the controversial name, the organization does not teach children Satanism.
We keep religious matters out of the teachings of after school satan clubs and people often ask us, “well then why include satanism at all, if people are going to be offended by that?”
Despite Greaves’ claim, the students’ parents and relatives say the whole situation is completely unsettling for them.
‘Tehachapi said yes, and I think they were wrong. I know my grandson will not be a part of this club,’ said Brenda Maher, another relative of a student.
The Satanic Temple website describes the club as a way to educate without proselytizing.
“I understand that the school has to allow them because they allow other after school programs, like the good news, which is a Christian after school program, which I agree with, but I can’t imagine why anyone would want their child for assist this satanic group,” said Sheila Knight, a grandmother.
The club’s presence also sparked outrage online with the opinion of dozens of parents and the community.
In a post made to Techapi Asks, Rants, and Raves Facebook pageone man wrote that he believes the club’s organizers are misleading with their tactics and motives.
‘So, I have been told by several people that Satan’s new extracurricular club at Golden Hills Elementary School is not a religion, but a philosophy club… So why did they choose Satan? Why not the club of existentialism Jean Paul Satre? Why not the Descartes club? asked Joe Lathrop.
‘They put Satan in the name for a reason. People should stop being intellectually dishonest and accept the fact that they want children to worship Satan as a secular god,” the man continued.
This is a still from the Satanic Temple’s own video explaining the purpose of the After School Satan Club.
Members of the Facebook group agreed with Lathrop’s claims.
“It’s sick that they’re targeting elementary school kids. Those are babies,” wrote one woman.
“This is all a diversion for a reaction,” said one commenter.
‘School Board hypocrisy… saying they have no choice… just try starting a Neo Nazi Club or a Pro Life Club and see how fast they run,’ another person said.
In a statement issued by the Tehachapi Unified School District, officials stated that it is against the law to discriminate against faith-based groups.
Hicks said it was the involvement of clubs like the Good News Club, already established on campus, that led to the decision to start the group backed by The Satanic Temple.
‘There is currently a Good News Club there that is teaching children to go save souls for Jesus, at school. We want to give an alternative point of view,” Hicks said.
School district officials explained the decision to allow the club by saying they cannot legally discriminate against Faith-based groups.
FOX News host Tucker Carlson earlier this year spoke to Greaves live and quizzed him about the After School Satan Club and its teachings.
He asked if Greaves and other organizers have faced pushback from parents and school administrators or if they were “passive like everyone else in America, just letting it happen.”
Carlson argued that school districts that allow the clubs could be potentially harmful and could open the door for other clubs like this one.
“What you’re saying is ridiculous, we both know it’s ridiculous,” the FOX host said.
Greaves responded by saying that the club has every right to be on campus, just as much as the Good News Club.
According to a calendar at Golden Hills Elementary School websitethere are at least two Good News Club meetings in the next few weeks.
The calendar does not show any dates for the After School Satan Club meetings.
In 2001, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that organizations like Good News Club can meet on campus after hours.
According to the organization website, the Good News Club is committed to ‘presenting the timeless truths of the Bible in exciting and engaging ways.’ Children learn the Gospel and many come to know Jesus as their Savior.’
The Satanic Temple says the group on campus does not attempt to teach Satanism to students, some as young as five.
The Supreme Court decision prompted other clubs and organizations, such as the After School Satan Club, to become more involved and expand across the country.
The Satanic Temple, in contrast to the Good News Club, allegedly does not discuss the operation of their church on school grounds.
“I’m not teaching these kids to be satanic, I’m not teaching these kids that they need to hail Satan or identify as Satanists,” Hicks said.
“The initial reaction is definitely shock and disgust,” said Lauren Mae, a Tehchapi parent and volunteer with the After School Satan Club. sf gate.
“There is also a lot of confusion between The Satanic Temple and The Church of Satan, which are two different things. They definitely seem to think we are devil worshippers, which we are not. We do not believe in a supernatural Satan.
This is the logo of The Satanic Temple, which is the founder of the group.
On The Satanic Temple website, the group states that they ‘do not advocate religion in schools’, but ‘once religion invades schools, as The Good News Clubs have done, The Satanic Temple will fight to ensure that plurality and true religious freedom be respected.’
A flyer posted by The Satanic Temple says the meetings at Golden Hills Elementary School will begin in December.
However, children will need to have a permission slip signed by a parent or legal guardian before they can attend.
“No one has to get involved with it that they don’t want to, and kids will need their parents to sign permission slips to participate,” Greaves said.
“It’s important to us that people know that we self-identify as Satanists even if we’re not teaching Satanism, just so people get an idea that that view of what satanic practitioners are is completely wrong,” Greaves said.