GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Greensboro parents are concerned about an after-school Satan club encouraging students at one school to join.
Organizers say it’s not about worshipping Satan. They say a 2001 Supreme Court decision made it a matter of free speech.
The flier is decorated with a cartoon devil with an eye-catching statement: “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?”‘ said Tempee Moore, a concerned parent.
The state of Pennsylvania rejected the club in its schools.
While Satan Clubs have popped up in other states like Illinois and Ohio, it’s the first time the idea found its way to North Carolina.
According to the flyer the club is slated to begin at Joyner Elementary School Friday at 2:15 p.m. inside the school’s cafeteria.
We received several emails asking us to investigate it.
“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,” said Lucien Greaves, co-founder of the Satanic Temple.
Despite what the name might imply, Greaves says the club is not actually about promoting worship of the devil.
“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 says the club is an alternative to the Christian Good News Club, and 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. 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,” Greaves said.
Moore hopes to see Christians Friday at 2 p.m. near Joyner Elementary School.
She’s planning a prayer rally at the same day and time the Satan Club is expected to start.
“Even if the club is not going to happen, there will be other times people want this to happen. It’s a way to say the Chrisitan community here in Greensboro is not allowing this to go into their schools,” she said.
Greaves says there are a total of four clubs in the country including Illinois and Ohio, averaging about four students in each club.
Chief of Staff with Guilford County Schools Dr. Rebecca Kaye 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.”