A Tacoma elementary school has opened the doors to a new club – A Satanic Club.
The Seattle Satanic Temple hosted an open house at Point Defiance Elementary Wednesday to gauge interest among elementary school kids and families.
Members of the Satanist group told Q13 News that they are not attempting to convert children to their beliefs, instead only want to expose them to other religions.
The controversial new club is causing concern among parents and community members.
Distressed citizens held a protest at the school on Wednesday where approximately 40 people stood outside to protest and pray that the Satanists would cancel the program before it began.
Simultaneously, the Satan Club had a meet-and-greet with kids or parents who were interested.
John Ritchie, with the conservative American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property said, “These 5-year-old children are very impressionable; if you have an adult come in and talk about Satan, they’re going to be harmed by that.”
“We are here to present more than 103,000 petitions that we gathered nationwide to call for the closing of the Satan club here,” Ritchie said.
Vapula Lix, a local Satanist, said, “We’re not telling kids about Satan, that’s not our goal,” she said. “They’re (other religious groups) the ones that opened this up. We’re taking the opportunity just as they did and we have that right to.”
The group members passed a background check and paid for a $1 million insurance policy, said school officials.
Tacoma Public Schools said that they are bound by state and federal law to allow the Satanists to offer an after-school program.
Dan Voelpel, chief information officer for Tacoma Public Schools, said, “State law and a U.S Supreme Court decision says we have to make our space available to outside organizations regardless of their beliefs.”
Although no one had signed up for the contentious club, the school district said the Satanists paid rent through the end of the school year.
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