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Investigation by Adam Andrzejewski originally published by RealClearInvestigations.com and RealClearWire.com
A school district in eastern Pennsylvania will pay The Satanic Temple $200,000 to settle a discrimination lawsuit, and allow students to attend meetings of the After School Satan Club on school property — should it ever decide to meet.
The Saucon Valley School District initially agreed to let the Satan club — whose motto is “Educatin’ with Satan” — use school facilities, the New York Post reported. It met a few times last spring, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
But the district withdrew permission after public outcry, protests and a threat in February that shut down schools for a day.
The Satanic Temple, along with the American Civil Liberties Union, filed a lawsuit, accusing the school district of discrimination.
The settlement not only allows the club to meet in Saucon Valley Middle School, but has the district pay $200,000 in attorney’s fees.
The ACLU called the settlement “a victory for free speech and religious liberty.” The organization claimed that The Satanic Temple’s First Amendment rights were violated when the public school district wouldn’t allow the After School Satan Club to meet on school grounds when it allows other religious groups to meet incluidng the Christian-based Good News Club.
But Saucon Valley school district attorney Mark Fitzgerald said the reason the district changed its mind is due to safety.
“By enforcing its policies regarding the use of facilities, the district maintained a safe educational environment for its students in the face of credible threats of violence that had already caused closure of the schools and panic in the community,” Fitzgerald said.
After $200,000 of taxpayer funds were given to lawyers for The Satanic Temple, however, the group’s director admitted that it didn’t intend to hold meetings.
Director June Everett told the Inquirer that the club will be on hold because the Good News Club had seemingly been disbanded, and her club will only resurrect if the Christina club resumes.
The Satanic Temple starts After School Satan Clubs in public school districts only where Christian-based religious programs are allows to used facilities, Everett said.
To make a point about speech, rile up a community and get a “win” in the courts, the group cost taxpayers $200,000.
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This article was originally published by RealClearInvestigations and made available via RealClearWire.