MOLINE, Ill. — Students enrolled at Jane Addams Elementary in Moline can now participate in one of the newest extracurricular programs - the After-School Satan Club.
The Moline-Valley School District released a statement Tuesday, Jan. 11 following some concern and confusion from parents, addressing "an upcoming after-school club."
"The Moline-Coal Valley School District and Board of Education have policies and administrative procedures in place which allow for community use of its publicly funded facilities outside the day," the statement read. "The district does not discriminate against any groups who wish to rent our facilities, including religious-affiliated groups."
The statement came after a number of local parents voiced concern and confusion online after learning of the club's existence and seeing children bring home informational flyers.
The school district said there is no mass distribution of promotional materials. Instead, flyers are posted in the school lobbies or displayed for students or parents to pick them up if they choose.
The club's activity and facility rental was approved in a Board of Education meeting on Dec. 13.
Approval for these types of of clubs has happened before. In its statement, the school district cited The Good News Club as an evangelical fellowship after-school option, which the Board approved Nov. 8.
According to its website, The Good News Club delivers "timeless truths of the Bible in exciting, engaging ways. Children learn the Gospel, and many come to know Jesus as their savior."
The Satan Club's flyer said sessions are taught by volunteer teachers who have passed criminal background checks and have been "vetted by the Executive Ministry for professionalism, social responsibility and superior communication skills."
The club states children will learn the following:
- Benevolence and empathy.
- Critical thinking.
- Problem solving.
- Creative expression.
- Personal sovereignty.
This isn't the first time an after-school Satan Club has made an appearance at an elementary school.
In December 2016, Point Defiance Elementary School in Tacoma, Washington, opened a club that wanted expose students to other religions rather than trying to convert them.
According to the Satanic Temple, After-School Satan Clubs "focus on free inquiry and rationalism, the scientific basis for which we know what we know about the world around us. We prefer to give children an appreciation of the natural wonders surrounding them, not a fear of everlasting other-worldly horrors."
The club is not affiliated with Jane Addams Elementary or the Moline-Coal Valley School District.