Over 60 Chesapeake, Virginia, community members gave their opinions on a proposed “Satan Club” during a school board meeting on Monday, while board members held off on voting on its approval, according to reports.
WAVY-TV reported that an application submitted to B.M. Williams Primary School last month was canceled last week after the club’s sponsor stepped down.
The paperwork has been resubmitted by a new sponsor, though it is not clear whether the club is expected to start on Dec. 15 as originally intended.
June Everett, an ordained minister in The Satanic Temple is the campaign director for After School Satan Club, or ASSC.
The club is intended to foster creativity and promote empathy, according to Everett, and attempts to establish a constructive and positive alternative to other religious after school clubs.
Everett told Fox News Digital that she was first led to The Satanic Temple five years ago after her first-grader “was traumatized by his classmates on the playground one day, and they were attendees of the Good News Club that was taking place at the public elementary school he was attending at the time.”
After picking her crying son up from school one day, he said other students told him if he did not accept Jesus Christ into his heart and start going to church, he was going to burn in hell.
This led Everett to seek alternatives to what was being offered to students.
On Monday, school board members did not vote on whether to allow the club, WAVY reported, but wanted to hear about the safety and concerns surrounding it.
A flyer on The Satanic Temple’s Facebook Page read, “The Satanic Temple is a non-theistic religion that views Satan as a literary figure who 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.”
Despite concerns from parents in the district who argue the club does not need to be in the elementary school where children are so young, lawyers said the school must make room for the club because of its affiliation with religion, tying it back to the First Amendment and freedom of speech.
Still, all students are required to have a parent-signed permissions slip to attend any after school program hosted by an outside organization