The Satanic Temple has filed a civil lawsuit against a Pennsylvania elementary school after it was denied permission to form an after-school Satan club.
General Counsel for The Satanic Temple, Mathew Kezhaya, explained this week that the lawsuit will argue that the school discriminated against The Satanic Temple by denying it an after-school club at Northern Elementary School in York. Kezhaya says the existence of similarly religious clubs at the school proves the school discriminated against his client.
Additionally, Kezhaya says, the school board acted improperly when it listed lack of interested parties as a reason for denying the after-school club.
According to the First Amendment, Kezhaya argues, a government is prohibited from considering “the popularity of communicative activity when determining whether to facilitate that communicative activity on equal terms with other, similarly-situated groups.”
School officials have said if the group would consider changing the name of the club not to include the name Satan, it may have a better chance at being allowed to form.
A resident who was at the meeting where the board decided not to allow the formation of the club said, “Look at the range of our students the children suffering from mental health issues, suicide, anxiety, depression all these things are off the chart and my heart goes out to these kids. More than ever we need a God in this world and this proposal in the opposite direction.”
About 200 residents attended the meeting, where all but one board member voted not to allow the club’s creation. One attendee sided with the lone board member, saying “Accepting something does not mean you have to like it, it does not mean you have to support it.”
The case may take months or even years to resolve if it makes its way up to the Supreme Court.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: YDR.COM
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