YORK, Pa. (WHTM) — There was outrage in the Northern York County School District following a proposal for a new after-school program: an elementary school Satan Club. People packed the high school auditorium for Tuesday’s school board meeting to protest the proposal.
“My friends sent me a thing, and at first I thought it was just another news story,” said Wes Gessamn, a 2020 Northern High School graduate. “But to have to have it here in Dillsburg, which is very, you know, right-wing area of the country, the fact that it’s already happening, I mean, I am incensed.”
Get daily news, weather, breaking news, and alerts straight to your inbox! Sign up for the abc27 newsletters here
Rebecca and Jeff Paulus attended the board meeting even though they live outside the Northern York School District.
“We heard that they want to put a satanist club in here and that just so obviously, my sign pretty much says that Jesus gives life abundantly. Satan is here to kill and destroy,” Jeff said.
“What happens to one school district makes a difference in the rest of our area because it could be easy enough moved to some of the rest of the area,” Rebecca said.
“It goes down to we take Bibles and prayer out. Satan automatically comes in and now we’re inviting him and that’s, obviously I’m going to take a stand against that,” Jeff said.
LIVE look with Seth Kaplan during Tuesday night’s meeting:
One man who spoke at the meeting emphasized that schools exist to educate children, not to serve as a platform for revolution.
“I urge the school board to preserve the innocence of our children, programs that stabilize children should be excluded,” the man who opposed the club said.
Another man, however, says he is not a Christian, not a Satanist, but worries about keeping the club out. “I’m here tonight as a voice of reason. I do not push my beliefs on my children. That is something I do not do. When they’re old enough, they can decide for themselves.”
One woman spoke during the meeting and took another position that was not popular with everyone.
“The last time I was here, it was because I had to fight for my daughter, who was in a group of kids who wanted to start a gay-straight alliance. Now what is objectionable about that,” she said before individuals in the crowd shouted at her.
At the end of the meeting, cheers filled the room after the vote was announced. “No, no. Motion fails eight to one.”