Illinois college district defends satanic membership at Jane Addams Elementary college

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An Illinois college district is defending an elementary college providing “After School Satan Club,” an extracurricular instructional program sponsored by the Satanic Temple of the United States.

The program, for kids in grades first by fifth, might be taught by volunteers at The Jane Addams Elementary School in Moline, and can meet 5 instances this 12 months starting Thursday, flyers circulating on social media declare.

According to the flyer, the membership will encompass science initiatives, puzzles, video games, arts and crafts and out of doors nature actions. The membership says it’s going to assist kids study benevolence and empathy, essential considering, drawback fixing, artistic expression and private sovereignty.

The Satanic Temple – basically an activist group and assume tank greater than a spiritual establishment – stated this system is accessible at choose public colleges the place Good News applications exist, and is supposed to be educationally enriching. Members don’t have any intention of changing kids to Satanism.

“Proselytization is not our goal, and we’re not interested in converting children to Satanism,” the temple says about the program on its website. “After School Satan Clubs will deal with free inquiry and rationalism, the scientific foundation for which we all know what we all know in regards to the world round us.

An Illinois school district is defending an elementary school providing an "After School Satan Club,” an extracurricular educational program.An Illinois college district is defending an elementary college offering an “After School Satan Club,” an extracurricular instructional program.Jane Adams Elementary School/Fac

“We prefer to give children an appreciation of the natural wonders surrounding them, not a fear of everlasting other-worldly horrors.”

The flyer prompted a response from district management, who emphatically assured mother and father that “No teachers from Jane Addams, or any other district teacher, is involved” and “Flyers were not distributed to all students,” according to a letter from Rachel Savage, Moline-Coal Valley Schools Superintendent, to district households.

She stated that the area rental was “not generated by the district and is not affiliated with Jane Addams or the district.”

A district mum or dad had reached out to the Satanic Temple’s after college membership, and advised the group that the elementary college already supplied a “child evangelism fellowship club” and wished to carry their program to the varsity “to offer parents a choice of different viewpoints,” the superintendent stated.

Thirty flyers have been despatched to the varsity from the Satanic Temple and have been positioned within the college lobbies, as are all flyers for organizations and occasions on the college which might be “religious in nature.”

She additional famous that the board of schooling permits group utilization of its amenities, and approves a number of agreements with native church buildings.

The flyer says the club will consist of science projects, puzzles, and more — as it aims to help children learn critical thinking and problem-solving.The flyer says the membership will encompass science initiatives, puzzles, and extra — because it goals to assist kids study essential considering and problem-solving.Patrick Deaton/Facebook

“To illegally deny their organization (viewpoint) to pay to rent our publicly funded institution, after school hours, subjects the district to a discrimination lawsuit, which we will not win, likely taking thousands upon thousands of tax-payer dollars away from our teachers, staff, and classrooms,” Savage wrote.

The Satanic Temple says it views Satan as a “mythical figure representing individual freedom,” based on its web site.

“Satanists should actively work to hone critical thinking and exercise reasonable agnosticism in all things,” the temple says. “Our beliefs must be malleable to the best current scientific understandings of the material world — never the reverse.”

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