Point Defiance Elementary School in Tacoma is ending its After-School Satan Club for kids. Yes, that was a real program the school held, put on by the Satanic Temple itself. And believe it or not, the program isn’t ending because it’s controversial (though it has been); instead it just ran out of money and volunteers, the News Tribune reports.
Last year, the club met once a month, during which kids from all grades learned about subjects like the environment, art, gender, and culture through activities.
According to the After-School Satan Club website: “All After School Satan Clubs are based upon a uniform syllabus that emphasizes a scientific, rationalist, non-superstitious world view….After School Satan Clubs incorporate games, projects, and thinking exercises that help children understand how we know what we know about our world and our universe.”
Unsurprisingly, the club has been controversial. As the Tribune reported last year, some parents asked the Tacoma School Board to ban it.
But they couldn't. That would go against a Supreme Court ruling which holds that if schools allow any religious after-school clubs, it has to allow all of them
Even though the club couldn't continue due to lack of money and volunteers who could take time off work, the Satanic Temple says the club was popular and people are interested in starting clubs in Puyallup and Enumclaw. The club’s curriculum is now available to any volunteers in the Satanic Temple, not just districts where the church has a chapter.
According to the Satanic Temple's website: “Our curriculum has also been revised by qualified experts in education to provide a reason-based, fun alternative to the evangelical indoctrination clubs already present in the schools. This year’s After School Satan Club is going to be even better and much bigger.”
CORRECTION: A previous version of this post misidentified the group that sponsored an After School Satan Club at an elementary school. The organization is the Satanic Temple, not the Church of Satan.