LEBANON, Ohio — Lebanon City Schools sent a message to families Thursday after parents expressed concerns about a group renting the district's facilities.
In the message, Superintendent Isaac W. Seevers said the district approved The Satanic Temple After School Satan Club's application to rent space after they completed the facility use agreement and provided necessary documentation. The group is not affiliated with the district or any school.
According to The Satanic Temple, After School Satan Clubs meet at public schools where Good News Clubs also exist. The group says meetings do not include religious instruction, instead focusing on "free inquiry and rationalism."
Seevers said the Good News Club, which is also not affiliated with the district or any school, has met at Donovan Elementary School for years. A 2001 Supreme Court ruling states school facilities must be made available to all groups or no groups. The district and board of education's policies allow for community use of its facilities after school.
"The district does not and is not legally allowed to discriminate against any groups who wish to rent our facilities, including religiously-affiliated groups," Seevers said.
Seevers said flyers for the group (or the Good News Club) will not be sent home with students. All students will need signed, parental permission to attend the club or any other after-school event.
To read the entire message, click here. According to its website, The Satanic Temple has congregations in Ohio and Indiana.