DILLSBURG, Pa. — After holding a Satanic Temple event at a York County school, the After School Satan Club claims that the school district's superintendent "respectfully declined" the donation it offered, suggesting that they give it to a Christian ministry program instead.
ASSC spokesperson June Everett said the Satanic Temple event, held on Sept. 24 at Northern York High School, raised a total of $578, which the group intended to use to purchase school supplies for the district.
Everett said the ASSC contacted the school district a few days after the event, asking for a list of needed school supplies that the group could purchase for the district.
In an email reply Everett shared with FOX43, superintendent Steve Kirkpatrick said he "respectfully decline(d)" the ASSC's offer, and suggested that it send the donation to New Hope Ministries "or another local social service organization" that would be best equipped to distribute supplies and goods to families in need in the school district.
Everett called Kirkpatrick's response disappointing.
"We were super eager to supply the district with items from their wish list or high-demand supplies for the teachers employed within the district," Everett said in an email.
"I can't help but wonder if teachers in the community who continually have to dip into their own personal finances for supplies would be frustrated to know that their superintendent can't get past his own personal bias and bigotry to benefit the children in the district he was appointed to serve."
Including Pennsylvania's 6% sales tax, Everett said, the $578 offered by the ASSC would cover any of the following items:
- 22,800 sheets of construction paper
- 543 spiral notebooks
- 3,410 ballpoint pens
- 13,152 No. 2 pencils
- 10,894 crayons
- 963 erasers
- 2,018 markers
- 1,239 highlighters
- 987 rulers
- 126 compass/protractors
- 6,518 sticks of chalk
- 825,227 staples
- 36,442 paper clips
- 31 copies of A Boy Called Bat, Northern York's "One Book One District" selection
Some parents believe that turning down the money was the right thing to do.
“I am very proud of the school board and district officials for declining that money," said Amanda, a parent of a child in the Northern York County School District. “I think the taxpayers, who are the community members, have raised their voices saying that we don’t want anything like that in our school district.”
However, some parents say they have no problem if the school district accepted money from the Satanic Temple.
“I honestly think any donation is beneficial," said Sarah Freeland. "I probably would have liked them to accept it.”
“It shouldn’t matter where it comes from because if it helps a kid move forward in life with learning and making their own opinions, then do it," said Andrew Freeland.
Last month's event had been in the works for months and sparked controversy throughout the school district.
The Satanic Temple first sought approval for an After School Satan Club at a Northern York school back in April, but the school board shot it down at the time. The event drew widespread condemnation from parents.
The school board later approved the event in August, and it was held on Sept. 24, days after Northern York hosted a prayer night by the Dillsburg Community Worship and Prayer.
Satanic Temple co-found Lucien Greaves said in August that congregants of the Satanic Temple should be allowed to have similar access to school facilities.
“We don’t decry or begrudge anybody having a prayer event or anything like that," said Greaves. "It does become a problem, a serious problem, when you allow a back-to-school prayer event, but you don’t allow any other religious representation.”