Home Christian News Satanic Temple To Host Back-to-School Night in Pennsylvania as Part of Nationwide...

Satanic Temple To Host Back-to-School Night in Pennsylvania as Part of Nationwide Effort To Increase ‘Religious Representation’

satanic temple
Left: Bronze monument unveiled by the Satanic Temple in Detroit on July 25, 2015 (Matt Anderson, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons); Right: Satanic Temple co-founder Lucien Greaves (Mark Schierbecker, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

The Satanic Temple is set to host a back-to-school night at Northern High School in Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, on September 24. The event will be coordinated by the After School Satan Club and has been approved by the Northern York County School District.

The Satanic Temple has been making inroads in American schools this year with its After School Satan Club (ASSC) program, which provides self-guided activities such as science and craft projects, puzzles, and games, while offering lessons in benevolence, empathy, critical thinking, and creativity. 

ASSC programs have been established at schools in several states. 

More of a secular humanist group draped in religious imagery than an actual occult movement, the Satanic Temple does not offer any religious teaching at ASSC. The group was formed in response to Christian Bible studies being part of public schools’ lineup of after school offerings. 

RELATED: Satanic Temple Launches ‘After School Satan Club’ in Illinois Elementary School

The Satanic Temple is allowed to use Northern High School’s facilities based on a 2001 Supreme Court case that ruled in favor of religious institutions being allowed to rent public school spaces after class hours and conduct programs according to their religious convictions. Prohibiting or restricting religious expression would be a violation of that group’s First Amendment rights. 

Northern York County School District Superintendent Steve Kirkpatrick said in a statement, “At its meeting on Tuesday evening, the Board approved an application by the Satanic Temple to use our facility as we were required to do so by Board policy No. 707. According to the application of the organization, the event will occur on September 24, 2022. As required by Board Policy No. 707, the organization is required to comply with all of the provisions of the Policy, and is required to pay rental, custodial, security, & auditorium tech fees.”

“As a public school district, the use of our school facilities must be permitted without discrimination. We cannot and do not arbitrarily pick and choose which organizations may or may not use our facilities,” Kirkpatrick continued. “If we allow one organization, we must allow all organizations, provided they satisfy the conditions and application requirements as set forth in Policy 707.”

RELATED: Catholic Bishop Criticizes Satanic Temple Holiday Display at Illinois Statehouse

Kirkpatrick clarified, “In approving any request, the School District does not endorse the activity of any outside organization that rents our facilities, nor are those entities permitted to use the School District’s name or logo.”