Not today, Satan! A Pennsylvania school district revoked its previous approval for an after-school Satan club to use its facilities because of the massive public backlash.
The club was being promoted for children ages 5 through 12, and it had been approved to meet in public school buildings in the Saucon Valley School District. This community is located about 60 miles north of Philadelphia, just outside of Allentown.
Jaime Vlasaty, the Saucon Valley school superintendent, announced on Friday night that she was rescinding approval for the club. She explained that it had failed to meet the requirements to use district facilities.
Vlasaty referred to an anonymous voicemail that included threatening language and forced district campuses and after-school activities to shut down last Tuesday evening and all day Wednesday.
“As a result of this violation, the educational programming and activities of the District has been significantly impacted and it has caused unequivocal disruption to the District’s daily operations,” Vlasaty said. “Our community has experienced chaos. Our students, staff and teachers have had to endure a threat to their safety and welfare. The gravity of feelings of instability, anxiety and fear have been profound.”
The school superintendent asked the community to lessen the intensity of their “hateful” language in the wake of the controversy.
“Aside from my decision to rescind approval, I implore the Saucon Valley community to eliminate threatening, hateful and divisive language and behavior, and make a commitment in supporting our students and reinforcing the values of our community,” she said.
Vlasary continued: “I firmly believe that we can create a safe and inclusive environment within our District where everyone is respected and valued no matter their opinions and beliefs, but we must first model this within our homes, our community and with one another.”
Parents had quickly rallied a prayer service to be held outside the district Middle School on March 8, the day of the club’s first meeting.
June Everett is the national campaign director of the After School Satan Club. She told the press that The Satanic Temple promotes freedom, science, justice, and compassion and doesn’t promote worshiping the devil.
“We are disappointed and are considering our options,” Everett said in a statement after the club’s approval was revoked.
After School Satan Club is coming to Hellertown, PA! Saucon Valley Middle School will host the first ASSC open to both elementary and middle schoolers!
To register your student for SVMS's ASSC, please visit: https://t.co/SZsZOu1HYB
For more, visit: https://t.co/FVCuEDTXP1 pic.twitter.com/xcDA0H6fBh
— The Satanic Temple (@satanic_temple_) February 23, 2023