The Satanic Temple is one step closer to forming a chapter of its After School Satan Club at an elementary school in Utah.
Earlier this year, the satanist group announced that it’s starting After School Satan Club chapters in public schools across the country, including Vista Elementary of Taylorsville, located within the Granite School District.
“On Tuesday, our Utah chapter head followed up regarding our classification and if we’d be categorized as the Good News Clubs are,” explained the spokesperson.
“We actually heard back from the school district [on Friday afternoon] and they confirmed that the [Good News Club] is not a school-sponsored or student led group, and they pay a facility fee. With that in mind, we will disburse funds to Utah and proof of liability insurance in the coming week.”
A spokesperson speaking to the Christian Post on email added that the Satanic Temple “is willing to pay facility fees in any of the school districts where that is common practice.”
Benjamin Horsley, spokesman for the Granite School District, said that officials responded earlier this month to the Satanic Temple’s demand that they start an ASSC chapter at Vista.
“This group sent a demand letter [on Aug. 1] and we responded with a copy of our policy, state statute and the rental requirements. We have not heard back from them since,” said Horsley.
“I believe they were under the impression that the Good News Club, a Christian after school Bible club, was getting free access to Vista Elementary when, in fact, they have been renting it like any other private entity.”
Horsley further explained the school district’s policy when it comes to using school space under a state law called the “civic center” statute.
“The state’s civic center statute provides that since our buildings are taxpayer funded, that any private group or individual must have access to school facilities when they are not being used for educational purposes,” continued Horsley.
“As such, as long as this — or any other — private group’s use conforms to the rental requirements, they will be permitted to rent the building.”
For the 2015-2016 school year, the Good News Club paid $480 to rent a classroom space for one hour for 24 days. This came to $20 an hour. According to Horsley, this rate is the same for similar groups.