After School Satan Club in Pennsylvania scores legal victory

Hellertown, Pennsylvania - A federal judge ruled on Monday that a school in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, must allow students to meet for an After School Satan Club.

An After School Satan Club in Pennsylvania has been given the green light to meet following a US district court victory on Monday.
An After School Satan Club in Pennsylvania has been given the green light to meet following a US district court victory on Monday.  © Joseph Prezioso / AFP

"Here, although The Satanic Temple, Inc.’s objectors may challenge the sanctity of this controversially named organization, the sanctity of the First Amendment’s protections must prevail," wrote Judge John Gallagher of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in a Monday filing.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the ACLU of Pennsylvania, and Dechert LLP sued Saucon Valley School District in March, arguing that barring the club from meeting in the district's facilities violated the First Amendment.

With the court's ruling, the school district is now required to allow the After School Satan Club, sponsored by The Satanic Temple, to meet on three dates during the school year without requiring students to present signed permission slips.

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The ACLU celebrated the decision, tweeting: "In a victory for free speech and religious freedom, a federal court has ruled that the Saucon Valley School District must allow the After School Satan Club to meet in district facilities."

An After School Satan Club in Virginia was allowed to convene earlier this year following a similar controversy.

Cover photo: Joseph Prezioso / AFP

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