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WA Elementary School Must Allow After-School Satan Club

Image: WA Elementary School Must Allow After-School Satan Club

Chris Bridges holds a sign for The Satanic Temple during a protest outside of an all-day prayer rally headlined by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal in Baton Rouge. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman, File)

By    |   Friday, 23 Sep 2016 04:21 PM

An elementary school in Washington must host what some are calling an after-school Satan club, according to The Daily Caller, after a lawyer advised the school district that a lawsuit could be brought against the school if they refused.

The Skagit Valley Herald reports that Centennial Elementary School has to allow the club, proposed by the Satanic Temple of Seattle, because the school allows a Good News Bible Club organized by the Child Evangelism Fellowship.

"I think that if the school district denied that application, you would face costly litigation that would be distracting from your mission, and would ultimately be unsuccessful," Duncan Fobes, an attorney with law firm Patterson, Buchanan, Fobes and Leitch in Seattle, told the Mount Vernon School Board, the Herald reports.

"We believe that it's clear that, because the district has a policy and procedure that encourages the use of community groups to use your facilities, because you do that, you must open it to this group," Fobes said. "You don't have to sponsor the group, you don't have to help the group."

In 2001, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Good News Bible Club v. Milford Central School District that if any organizations are allowed to use school property, then all organizations must also receive access.

The Satanic Temple began petitioning schools to introduce the After-School Satan Club during the summer so they would be approved before the school year started.

"It's critical that children understand that there are multiple perspectives on all issues, and that they have a choice in how they think," Doug Mesner, the Satanic Temple's co-founder, told The Washington Post when making the announcement.

"We didn't invite them to the school, they put our name on a website," Centennial Principal Erwin Stroosma told the Herald. "We feel like we're pawns in a game — someone else is manipulating us."

If the district were to completely close its facilities to any outside groups, they would lose any revenue that those groups brought it.

"Very unfortunately, our hands are tied in this question," Board President Rob Coffey said to the Herald. "We must make our facilities available — and in many cases we are eager to make them available — to Boys & Girls Clubs, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts. We must make them available whether we like the group or not. There really is no opportunity for us to say no to the Satanic Temple or the After School Satan Club."

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An elementary school in Washington must host what some are calling an after-school Satan club, according to The Daily Caller, after a lawyer advised the school district that a lawsuit could be brought against the school if they refused.
washington, elementary school, after school, satan
407
2016-21-23
Friday, 23 Sep 2016 04:21 PM
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