The Satanic Temple to Distribute Educational Religious Materials in Florida Public Schools
Controversial Organization Aligns with Freedom From Religion Foundation in Accordance with School Board Policy
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NEW YORK, NY – September 15, 2014-
In response to a recent School Board decision in Orange County, Florida that allows for the dissemination of religious materials in public schools, The Satanic Temple has announced they will follow suit by providing Satanic materials to students during the new school year. Among the materials to be distributed are pamphlets related to the Temple’s tenets, philosophy and practice of Satanism, as well as information about the legal right to practice Satanism in school.
This effort came about when the Orange County school system allowed an evangelical Christian group to distribute Bibles while censoring atheist materials distributed by the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), a nonprofit that strives to uphold the principle of separation of state and church. In response, FFRF sued the Orange County School Board. Neither FFRF nor The Satanic Temple agree with the school board’s decision to allow the distribution of religious materials in schools; however, The Satanic Temple seeks to ensure that pluralism is respected whenever the Church/State division is breached.
The Satanic Temple’s spokesperson, Lucien Greaves, explains, “We would never seek to establish a precedent of disseminating our religious materials in public schools because we believe our constitutional values are better served by respecting a strong separation of Church and State. However, if a public school board is going to allow religious pamphlets and full Bibles to be distributed to students -- as is the case in Orange County, Florida -- we think the responsible thing to do is to ensure that these students are given access to a variety of differing religious opinions, as opposed to standing idly by while one religious voice dominates the discourse and delivers propaganda to youth.”
The Satanic Temple is best known for their ongoing efforts to erect a Satanic monument at the Oklahoma State Capitol where they seek to contrast an already-standing 10 Commandments monument. As with the distribution of religious material in Florida schools, the Temple is clear that it would not seek to erect a monument if it were not for the prior presence of a public religious homage.
“Even as we prefer public policies respecting secularism, we feel that opportunities -- such as this -- to establish an equal voice for contrasting religious opinions in the public square, tend to favor marginalized, lesser-known, and alternative religions,” Greaves explains. “I am quite certain that all of the children in these Florida schools are already aware of the Christian religion and it’s Bible, and this might be the first exposure these children have to the actual practice of Satanism. We think many students will be very curious to see what we offer.”
The Satanic Temple Declares May 15th, “Protect Children Day” Temple Provides Children with a Religious Exemption from Being Hit or Placed in Solitary Confinement in School
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NEW YORK, NY – April 10, 2014 -
The Satanic Temple, a religious organization based in New York City, has declared May 15th as “Protect Children Day” with the mission of putting an end to corporal punishment and the use of isolation rooms in schools for Temple followers as well as for others who share their beliefs. The Protect Children Project campaign encourages students to register at the
project website, as the temple will then notify their respective school boards that their deeply held beliefs oppose physical and psychological abuses,
including the use of corporal punishment, physical restraints, and isolation rooms as forms of punishment.
In the latest census, the Office for Civil Rights
of the U.S. Department of Education reported that over 220,000 students were hit in school during the course of a year and
students were physically restrained over 39,000 times. In light of such shocking statistics, the Temple hopes that the Protect Children Project
will be an effective method of combatting these abuses. In addition to online registration where students can affirm their beliefs and allow the Temple
to place their school board on notice on their behalf, a letter that outlines these beliefs is available for download for
students to sign and deliver to their school prinicple. Parents and volunteers all over America are encouraged to download copies of this letter and
physically distribute it to students at their local schools on May 15th.
“One of the fundamental tenets of The Satanic Temple is personal sovereignty and the inviolability of one’s body and mind.
Hitting a child or placing them in solitary confinement goes entirely against our beliefs,” says Lucien Greaves, Temple
spokesperson. “The documents we have made available not only provide students with a notice they can give to their
principal that explains their beliefs, but also informs schools that if they refuse to acknowledge the deeply held beliefs
of students, they would be violating their civil rights. School officials could potentially face criminal charges if they
disregard a student’s convictions. If students report to us that they have notified their principal of their religious
views and they are physically or psychological abused despite that, it is our intention to intervene.”
Per the report “A Violent Education,” issued in 2008 by the Human Rights Watch and the
American Civil Liberties Union, corporal punishment at school has led to tens of
thousands of emergency room visits where some children have even died from their wounds. Studies have also shown a
clear correlation between corporal punishment and lower IQ, depression, early heart attacks, and a higher propensity for
addiction and obesity. It also adversely impacts family relationships. What’s more, a report issued by the
U.S. Alliance to Stop the Hitting of Children shows that spanking perpetuates child abuse and teaches children it is
acceptable for people in positions of authority to resort to violence as a means of getting what they want.
Corporal punishment is practiced in 19 states, but where it is not permitted, many schools resort
to placing students in solitary confinement sometimes called: “seclusion rooms,” “isolation
rooms,” “decompression rooms,” “time-out rooms,” or “scream rooms.” The prevalence of this
form of punishment is
dramatically rising even as its use is being markedly reduced in prisons
because it is considered inhumane. According to Greaves, this form of punishment is also
unacceptable treatment for Temple members. “The physical and psychological abuse of
children is completely immoral. It is disturbing that no other religious organization has publicly
expressed this sentiment and we sincerely hope our colleagues of other faiths will come forth to
protect children from these kinds of violence and support our initiative.”
In addition to making a letter available to students, The Satanic Temple is also providing fact
sheets on corporal punishment and solitary confinement, a Satanic-themed activity book, and
FAQs so that students can understand their religious rights in school.
About The Satanic Temple
The mission of The Satanic Temple is to encourage benevolence and empathy among all
people, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense and justice, and be
directed by the human conscience to undertake noble pursuits guided by the individual will.
Civic-minded, The Satanic Temple has been involved in a number of good works including
taking a stand against the controversial and extremist Westboro Baptist Church. For more
information about The Satanic Temple, please visit
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