UPDATE: This piece has been updated to include statements from The Northern York County School Board, The Satanic Temple and newly obtained information regarding the event.
A Pennsylvania school will permit the Satanic Temple to host an after-school event on school grounds, according to York Daily Record.
The Northern York County School Board in Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, approved a request for a back-to-school fundraiser held by The Satanic Temple – Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania chapter in the high school’s auditorium, according to York Daily Record. The fundraising event will take place on Sept. 24 and be put on by The Satanic Temples’ After School Satan Club.
“As a public school district, the use of our school facilities must be permitted without discrimination,” Northern York County School District superintendent Steve Kirkpatrick said in a statement on the school’s website. We cannot and do not arbitrarily pick and choose which organizations may or may not use our facilities. If we allow one organization, we must allow all organizations, provided they satisfy the conditions and application requirements as set forth in Policy 707.”
“In response to a recent facility request for a Worship and Prayer Back to school event which was granted. We cannot be discriminatory in regards to facility request,” the Northern York County School Board told the Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement. “Failure to approve would have resulted in a lawsuit which we would have lost. That would have resulted in taxpayer dollars supporting the Satanic Temple.”
The Satanic Temple stands to “to encourage benevolence and empathy, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense, oppose injustice and undertake noble pursuits,” according to the website. The group “has become the primary religious Satanic organization in the world with congregations internationally.”
The event is 18+ and minors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent, according to the Satanic Temple’s graphic for the event.
“We are super excited to be hosting a Back to School Community Celebration and Fundraiser at Northern High School on September 24th,” June Everett, ordained minister of The Satanic Temple, told the DCNF in a statement. “This will be a fun evening for all ages from all beliefs and backgrounds who may not have felt comfortable attending the “Back To School Worship and Prayer Night” that was held at the same school on Saturday August 20th.”
“The Back-to-School Community Celebration & Fundraiser hosted by The Satanic Temple of Philadelphia & Eastern PA will be various stations of arts & crafts, science experiments, live demos, refreshments, and fun for the entire family,” Everett told the York Daily Record.
The school board voted 8-1 to prohibit an After School Satan Club being hosted at the Northern York Elementary School in April, the York Daily Record reported. The club is put on by The Satanic Temple and targets schools where religiousclubs meet to give students “an appreciation of the natural wonders surrounding them, not a fear of everlasting other-worldly horrors,” the website stated.
After the club was denied, the Satanic Temple filed a civil rights lawsuit in May, saying that denying the club was a violation of the First Amendment, KIRO 7 News reported.
The Northern York County School Board, the Northern York County School District and the Satanic Temple did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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