School Defends Satan Club That Promotes Critical Thinking, Sovereignty for Elementary Kids

Photo of devil figure on fire
A figure representing the devil burns in Guatemala City on Dec. 7, 2021. A school district in Illinois is defending an after school Satan club using their facilities. (Provided Photo/Orlando Estrada/AFP via Getty Images) Orlando Estrada/Getty Images

A school district in northwestern Illinois is defending an elementary school after flyers promoting an after-school Satan club surfaced.

According to photos of the flyer on social media, the club at Jane Addams Elementary in Moline aims to teach children "benevolence & empathy, critical thinking, problem solving, creative expression and personal sovereignty."

The handout also said that "the after school Satan Club does not attempt to convert children to any religious ideology. Instead, The Satanic Temple supports children to think for themselves."

According to the flyer, the club is scheduled to meet at the school for an hour once a month through May.

The school district, Moline-Coal Valley School District No. 40, put a statement from its superintendent, Dr. Rachel Savage. Savage said that after hearing of the "mounting concerns and questions," she wanted to address some details concerning the club.

The club, according to Savage, does not involve any teachers from the elementary where the after-school club is being held, the flyers "were not distributed to all students," and facility rental for the club was not and "is not affiliated with Jane Addams or the district."

The statement further read that the idea for the club originally came from a parent within the district. Savage said the parent took it upon themselves and reached out to the national organization behind the after-school Satan club. The parent mentioned to the organization that they were looking to bring other viewpoints to the school.

Additionally, the superintendent cited that it would have been illegal to reject the organization "to pay to rent their publicly funded institution" for after-school, as it would have subjected the school district to a discrimination lawsuit. The district said other religious entities have used its facilities in the past.

Savage said the district also has a Good News Christian Club, among other after-school clubs that require parent permission before participation.

News of the Satan Club at Jane Addams generated reactions on social media. One user on Facebook, after learning of the club at the school, said: "Freedom of religion folks no one religion is above the other. At least they are honest about what they say."

@BigSkyCountry8 wrote on Twitter: " If Fellowship of Christian Athletes, etc., as an after-school club, the First Amendment protects this club too, distasteful though it may be."

However, not everyone was on board with the club. @MaGiC_City_305 tweeted: "The truly scary part about this is the comments section. It's unbelievable how many people are actually AGREE with this! Folks, we are in the end of days. Find Jesus Christ before it's too late!"

On its website, the Satanic Temple said the After School Satan Clubs "meet at select public schools where Good News Clubs also operate," and is an open environment where parents are welcome.

Newsweek reached out to the Satanic Temple for comment on the story but did not hear back before publication.