Illinois school hosts 'Satan Club' meeting for kids

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An elementary school in Illinois is catching flak from parents for promoting an after-school club for kids, hosted by the Satanic Temple.

Administrators at Jane Addams Elementary School in Moline allowed a flyer posting in the lobby that invited students in first through fifth grade to attend an "after-school Satan club" on five different dates throughout the spring.

Twitter account Libs of Tik Tok shared a photo of the flyer, which says "Hey Kids, let's have fun at After School Satan Club." The club promises attendees science projects, puzzles and games, arts and crafts projects, and nature activities.

"Parents, you child will learn benevolence and empathy, critical thinking, problem solving, creative expression [and] personal sovereignty," the flyer states.

The flyer says the meetings are taught by volunteer teachers who have passed criminal background checks and been vetted by the "Executive Ministry for professionalism, social responsibility and superior communication skills."

"The Satanic Temple is a non-theistic religion that views Satan as a mythical figure representing individual freedom," the flyer states. "After School Satan Club does not attempt to convert children to any religious ideology. Instead, The Satanic Temple supports children to think for themselves."

The flyer says the meetings are "based upon a uniform syllabus that emphasizes a scientific, nationalist, non-superstitious worldview."

The flyer does include a permission slip from a parent or guardian, which is required for students to attend after-school clubs per district policy.

After receiving multiple complaints from parents, a district spokesperson defended the school's decision to promote the club, saying the Board of Education has "policies and administrative procedures in place which allow for community use of its publicly funded facilities outside the school day."

"The district does not discriminate against any groups who wish to rent our facilities, including religious-affiliated groups. Religiously affiliated groups are among those allowed to rent our facilities for a fee," the statement said. "The district has, in the past, approved these types of groups, one example being the Good News Club, which is an after-school child evangelism fellowship group."

Superintendent Rachel Savage further clarified that the Satanic Temple only asked to host an after-school club after a parent notified them of the evangelism fellowship club.

"[The parent] asked that they bring their program to that school as well, to offer parents a choice of different viewpoints," Savage said in a statement. "Since we have allowed religious entities to rent our facilities after school hours, we are not permitted to discriminate against different religious viewpoints."

The superintendent added that flyers were not distributed to students, but instead placed on a table in the lobby where some students picked them up.

The Satanic Temple has not commented on the situation.

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