GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Some parents in Greensboro, North Carolina, have expressed concerns about an after-school Satan club that’s encouraging students to join.
Organizers said the club is not about worshipping Satan, adding that a 2001 Supreme Court decision made it a matter of free speech.
A flyer decorated with a cartoon devil and an eye-catching statement encourages students to join the club. “Hey kids, let’s have fun at After School Satan Club!”
“A lot of people said ‘is this a hoax? Is this real?’ How can a Satan club be realistic?” parent Tempee Moore said.
The state of Pennsylvania has rejected Satan clubs, but they have popped up in Illinois and Ohio. However, it’s the first time the idea has found its way to North Carolina.
According to the flyer, the club is slated to begin meeting at 2:15 p.m. Friday in the cafeteria at Joyner Elementary School Friday at 2:15 p.m. inside the school’s cafeteria.
“So the controversy on whether a school district should allow an after-school Satan club is entirely misguided and something they need to take up with the Supreme Court,” Lucien Greaves, co-founder of the Satanic Temple, said.
Despite what the name might imply, Greaves said the club is not about promoting devil worshipping.
“In fact, our after-school clubs do not contain items of religious opinion one way or another,” he said. “We’re not trying to endorse Satanism or criticize other religious organizations. Our after-school club focuses on critical thinking, scientific rationalism, those types of things.”
Greaves said the club is an alternative to the Christian Good News club and that the Satan club does have supporters here.
“We never put in a request to put in a club where we don’t have the volunteers and support to actually put one in place,” Greaves said. “I think all the clubs we have in place may have come at a parent’s request in the school district or maybe several parents.”
Moore said she hopes to see Christians show up for a prayer rally on Friday near Joyner Elementary when the Satan club is scheduled to meet.
“Even if the club is not going to happen, there will be other times people want this to happen,” she said. “It’s a way to say the Chrisitan community here in Greensboro is not allowing this to go into their schools.”
Greaves said there are a total of four clubs in the country, including ones in Illinois and Ohio. There are about four students in each club.
Dr. Rebecca Kaye, the chief of staff for Guilford County Schools, released the following statement:
“The requests for rental of GCS facilities by the Good News Club and the After School Satan Club are under review and neither is authorized to use GCS facilities at this time. Neither of the two clubs are sponsored by Joyner Elementary nor were they solicited by the school.
“GCS is currently reviewing with its legal counsel how fliers for non-school sponsored clubs and events are distributed, as well as the district’s obligation to grant organizations equitable access to our public facilities.”