Lebanon schools ask public not to protest at first meeting of 'After-School Satan Club' Thursday

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Lebanon City Schools is asking the public not to gather or protest on school property ahead of the first meeting of the After-School Satan Club, which will take place at Donovan Elementary School Thursday.

Previously, Lebanon schools sent an email to parents explaining the district can not legally discriminate against any groups who wish to rent their facilities, including religiously-affiliated groups.

A chapter of The Satanic Temple's After-School Satan Club will hold meetings in the cafeteria of Donovan Elementary School beginning Thursday for about an hour after school.

In a letter to parents, the district said they are aware of concerning comments made online about the after-school club.

"Student and staff safety is the number one priority of Lebanon City Schools and we are aware of the comments made online. We have reviewed our school safety plan and met with Lebanon Police officials to develop an Emergency Operations Plan for this event," the letter read.

Officials also reminded the public that protests, unauthorized assemblies and unauthorized visitors are not permitted on school grounds.

Superintendent Isaac Seevers concluded the letter by asking the public to refrain from gathering or protesting on or around school grounds.

"If you want to gather as a community during this time, please find another place in town. Please remember that we serve a young student population, and some of them may have no idea why adults are gathering in support or opposition on Thursday afternoon. Please allow our staff and students to leave school peacefully and safely," Seevers wrote.

While school officials are discouraging protests, there is a designated area on the sidewalks along Justice Drive, in the public right of way, as a place where the public is allowed to gather.

The letter said that school administration and a school resource officer will be present Thursday to help with student dismissal to ensure everyone's safety.

Flyers advertising the club said it will offer science projects, puzzles, games, arts and crafts projects, and nature activities.

According to the Satanic Temple's website, the After-School Satan Club is an alternative to religious after-school programs. The club is not a religious indoctrination program that teaches religion or offers religious opinions.

The Satanic Temple opens an after-school club at schools with a Good News Club, Christian gatherings run by evangelical organizations that offer Bible and faith lessons after school.

School officials said any student wishing to attend the Satanic Temple After-School Satan Club or any other after-school club must get signed permission from their parents.

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Concern over possible protests at 'After-School Satan Club' meeting

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