The Satanic Temple has filed a lawsuit against a Pennsylvanian elementary school after the school board voted to deny the establishment of the After School Satan club.
Northern Elementary School in York, Pa., is being sued on the grounds of constitutional violation. The Satanic Temple intends to prove the school board discriminated against the temple by barring the creation of the After School Satan club, despite other organizations being allowed to operate their own programs.
Mathew Kezhaya, the general counsel for The Satanic Temple, told ABC the litigation could take up to two years to complete — potentially longer if the case were moved to the U.S. Supreme Court.
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“The First Amendment prohibits a government from considering the popularity of communicative activity when determining whether to facilitate that communicative activity on equal terms with other, similarly situated, groups,” he told ABC.
According to ABC, Northern Elementary School officials made “discrete statements” informing the temple if they removed “Satan” from the club’s name, their chances of being permitted as an after-school program would increase.
Lucien Greaves, a Satanic Temple spokesperson, told Fox News it will be costly for the school and community to continue with litigation, should they still bar the After School Satan club.
“If they deny us the use of a public facility, which they have no right to do, it’ll have to move into litigation — costly litigation that the community is going to have to pay for,” he said.
On The Satanic Temple’s website, the organization claims the after-school program does not actually involve Satan.
“The After School Satan Club is an after-school program that promotes self-directed education by supporting the intellectual and creative needs of students,” they wrote.
“The After School Satan Clubs meet at select public schools where Good News Clubs also operate,” The Satanic Temple continued. “Trained educators provide activities and learning opportunities, which students are free to engage in, or they may opt to explore other interests that may be aided by available resources.”
The Satanic Temple also claims the After School Satan club includes no religious instruction whatsoever.
“Proselytization is not our goal, and we’re not interested in converting children to Satanism,” they wrote. “After School Satan Clubs will focus on free inquiry and rationalism, the scientific basis for which we know what we know about the world around us.”