Parents are horrified after discovering planned after-school meetings by a group called The Satanic Temple at their children's primary school.
The After School Satan Club has planned a series of after-school meetings with an advertising flyer stating attendees will enjoy puzzles, games, arts and crafts sessions, and nature trips.
A spokesperson for Moline-Coal Valley School District in Illinois said there was confusion over the upcoming after-school club at Jane Addams Elementary, FOX2 reports.
“The Moline-Coal Valley School District and Board of Education have policies and administrative procedures in place which allow for community use of its publicly funded facilities outside the school day,” the district statement said Tuesday.
Noting that it doesn’t discriminate against any groups who wish to rent public facilities, including religious-affiliated groups.
“Religiously affiliated groups are among those allowed to rent our facilities for a fee,” the district 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.
Flyers and promotional materials for these types of groups are approved for lobby posting or display only, and not for mass distribution.
“Students or parents are then able to pick up the flyer from the lobby, if they so choose, which is aligned to District policy,” the statement says.
“Please note that the district must provide equal access to all groups and that students need parental permission to attend any after-school event.
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"Our focus remains on student safety and student achievement.”
The Satanic Temple website says the mission of the nationwide group is to “encourage benevolence and empathy, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense, oppose injustice and undertake noble pursuits.”
The group, which gives "Devil's Advocate" scholarships to students, has become the primary religious Satanic organisation in the world.
“The rise of The Satanic Temple has been met with an increase in commentary regarding what Satanism is as media outlets struggle to grasp how this upstart religion has begun to shift religious liberty debates with claims of equal access,” the site says.
A Facebook post Monday from Moline parent Necia Cole was met with many responses, including: “Wait what????? How is this even a thing? Who approved this? I just know they’re about to catch hell because I would be going tf off.”
Cole added to her post Tuesday: “I will add that the flyer was only allowed due to the rules and regulations that the school has to allow it. My kids attend a pretty good school. I may also add that no teacher physically passed out the flyers.”
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