School officials baffled by Club Satan dilemma
Just about everyone in Guilford County now knows that an elementary school “Satan Club” may be held by Satanists at Joyner Elementary School beginning Friday, April 29.
School officials are apparently in a tough spot because, if few or none want to see a Satan Club on campus, a 2001 U.S. Supreme Court case bars schools from discriminating against facility use. schools by a religious group if other groups are permitted to – and therefore schools cannot legally deny use of facilities, even to a club run by Satanists.
The flyer promoting the event says those organizing it have been vetted and have undergone background checks – and that there will be no attempt to turn tikes into devil worshippers. Instead of human sacrifice, there will be fun, games, projects and an attempt to sharpen children’s critical thinking.
Still, many people don’t like the idea of Satanists running an after-school club for 1st-6th graders.
The debate is all the rage, and when the school system was asked on Wednesday, April 27 whether the event would take place, and, if so, why it would, the response was not very illuminating.
The school system’s response also includes a comment on a Bible-based Good News Club, which asked to continue hosting events at Guilford County schools.
The statement reads: “Applications for rental of Guilford County Schools facilities by the Good News Club and the After School Satan Club are under review and neither is permitted to use GCS facilities for the moment. Neither club is sponsored by Joyner Elementary and has not been solicited by the school.
He adds that “GCS is currently reviewing with its legal counsel how flyers for non-school-sponsored clubs and events are distributed, as well as the district’s obligation to grant organizations fair access to our public facilities.” .
Guilford County Board of Commissioners Chairman Skip Alston, who has been in contact with school officials about the matter, gave some insight into what is happening. Alston said that while school officials do not want Joyner to be the site of the event, the legal advice they were getting from the school’s attorney, he said, suggests that they must.
Alston added that although he is a God-fearing man who wants nothing to do with Satan, he understands in this debate why the school system may be pressured to allow the event to take place. He said the school must abide by the law even if it leads to uncomfortable circumstances, like in this case.
Even if the elementary school Satan Club takes place, it remains to be seen how many parents will allow their children to attend the Satan Club. A local media outlet said that in the handful of other places in the country where such a club has been advertised, an average of four children attend.