CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — More than 60 community members voiced their opinions over the “Satan club” at a Chesapeake public school Monday evening.

The item which has caused controversy throughout the school community was on the agenda for the Chesapeake School Board meeting. Dozens, on both sides of the argument, were in attendance filling every seat in the board room.

The Satanic Temple promotes the After School Satan Club as a safe alternative to religious clubs in schools. Club organizers say the club promotes free thought and critical thinking – not devil worship.

Just days after news of its scheduled launch on Dec. 15 turns heads, the arrival of the religious club at B.M. Williams Primary School was canceled when its sponsor stepped down. A second sponsor has replaced the first and has resubmitted the club’s paperwork.

Board members did not vote on the club, but were concerned with public safety surrounding it –particularly for those involved and those who plan to protest it. District leaders plan to discuss safety measures moving forward but said Monday that the club meets all use of facility requirements.

“We are non-theistic,” said Rose Bastet, a volunteer organizing the new club, told 10 On Your Side. “I understand the apprehension behind the satanic name, but he is just an imaginary figure that we look to because he is the eternal rebel that fought for justice and humanity.”

Stephen Mannix of the Child Evangelism Fellowship, who also sponsors the Good News Club, a club focused on positivity and scripture, pointed to the Satanic Temple’s website. It states: “The After School Satan Club does not believe in introducing religion into public schools and will only open a club if other religious groups are operating on campus.”

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