Moline Coal Valley School District defends 'Satan Club' after parental outrage
MOLINE, ILLINOIS: Moline Coal Valley School District has come out in support of a 'Satan Club' after parents across the country expressed curiosity as well as concern. The 'After School Satan Club' (ASSC), which is administered by the Satanic Temple, has scheduled a number of after-school meetings at Jane Addams Elementary School in Moline. But the students who want to join the group are required to have permission from their parents.
According to reports, the first meeting is expected to happen on Thursday, January 13, from 2:45 pm to 3:45 pm at the school (3520 53rd St, Moline). The second one will happen on February 10 while the other meetings will be held on March 10, April 14, and May 12 respectively. A flyer about the club mentions that students will be encouraged to do science projects, puzzles, games, arts & craft projects, and nature activities during the meetings.
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Wayne Marlow, whose two kids study at Jane Addams, said that he wants to know what the club will have for the students. He told KLJB, “I’m going to be there; I want to see what it’s like. The flyer seems interesting. It looks like there’s some good quality there. I want to check it out myself as a parent. I’ve been a parent for 10 years and I try to stay very active. I welcome the idea of there being a new club that I could maybe get the kids in and have the chance for more involvement.”
Does your child’s school need an after-school club as an alternative to the Good News Club or other religious clubs? After School Satan Club (ASSC) is back! https://t.co/meoLJJsYiE #EducatinWithSatan #ASSC #AfterSchoolSatan #TheSatanicTemple pic.twitter.com/8ihCDLlQPM— The Satanic Temple (@satanic_temple_) January 8, 2022
Moline-Coal Valley School District Superintendent Rachel Savage said that she is aware of parents’ concerns and understands them too. She said, “These types of club and organizations have nothing to do with our school day; it’s not taught in our schools. It’s not part of our curriculum. It’s not part of our teaching staff — none of that. It is a separate organization renting our facility after school. They can chose to send their child to that after school club or not; its completely parental choice and its not something that the school district is involved with.”
But a statement from the school district board noted, “The Moline-Coal Valley School District and Board of Education have policies and administrative procedures in place which allow for community use of its publicly funded facilities outside the school day. Religiously-affiliated groups are among those allowed to rent our facilities for a fee. The district has, in the past, approved these types of groups, one example being the Good News Club, which is an after-school child evangelism fellowship group. Flyers and promotional materials for these types of groups are approved for lobby posting or display only, and not for mass distribution.”
The statement added: “Students or parents are then able to pick up the flyer from the lobby, if they so choose, which is aligned to District policy. Please note that the district must provide equal access to all groups and that students need parental permission to attend any after-school event. Our focus remains on student safety and student achievement.” As per The Satanic Temple website, it’s aim is to “encourage benevolence and empathy among all people, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense, oppose injustice, and undertake noble pursuits. The Satanic Temple campaign director, June Everett, also issued a statement to Local 4 News regarding the club that read, “ASSC is focused on education, critical thinking, etc. It happens to be a program operated by The Satanic Temple, but it does not teach Satanism.”