UPDATE: See the school system’s response below
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The Satanic Temple intends to offer “After School Satan” clubs at schools nationwide and specifically names a Cobb County elementary school on its list of places where it’s hoping to begin operations.
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It’s not clear whether any of the clubs is actually up and running yet but the group has included Still Elementary School in Powder Springs to a list of schools it has approached to offer its curriculum.
“Across the nation, parents are concerned about encroachments by proselytizing evangelicals in their public schools, and are eager to establish the presence of a contrasting voice that helps children to understand that one doesn’t need to submit to superstition in order to be a good person,” the group’s web site says.
Cobb County school district spokeswoman Donna Lowry said the system had no idea it was on the organization’s list.
“There are no Satan clubs in Cobb County schools including Still,” she said. “We have not been contacted by anyone to establish one. In no way does the school or the school district endorse Satan clubs.”
Lowry said the system was also drafting a statement to send to parents to make sure they’re aware of the district’s stance.
The Satanic Temple’s goal is to counter faith-based groups that work with schools.
“After School Satan clubs are based upon a uniform syllabus that emphasizes a scientific, rationalist, non-superstitious world view,” reads a statement on the group’s site, which goes on to blast evangelical teachings that it says “robs children of the innocence and enjoyment of childhood, replacing them with a negative self image, preoccupation with sin, fear of Hell, and aversion to critical thinking.”
As an alternative, “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,” the group says.