CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) – Following public comments that focused on the controversial After School Satan Club, the Chesapeake School Board voted 5-4 to allow both school-affiliated and non-school-affiliated clubs to use division facilities.
Non-affiliated clubs would be subject to possible security and staffing fees.
It was another packed school board meeting in Chesapeake Monday night as nearly 40 people signed up to speak about the approval of an After School Satan Club. It’s been a little more than a week since the club held its first meeting on school grounds.
Public comment lasted two hours, with the main topic the controversial After School Satan Club.
“It’s either all or none. This is not a volume knob. There’s no adjustment for society’s comfort level,” said one speaker in favor of the club.
Others spoke against.
“If you allow the After School Satan Club to continue meeting, I doubt the craziness is going to end with bomb threats,” said one Chesapeake resident. “You may have extremists trying to pick a fight with anyone or some unforeseen nonsense. Worst of all you have directly allowed Satan into the school.”
Meanwhile some Christians pushed for equality for all clubs regardless of religious beliefs.
“It is un-American to only allow one viewpoint to be heard. It challenges the strength of our Constitution,” one woman said.
During Monday’s board meeting, members debated two facility use options. Option A allows both school-affiliated (exempt) and non-school-affiliated (non-exempt) clubs to meet. Non-affiliated clubs would be subject to possible security and staffing fees.
Option B only allows school-affiliated clubs on school grounds.
The Chesapeake School Board ultimately voted for Option A, with the following stipulations:
- The current moratorium on applications for facility use permits be ended.
- All new applications filed be considered pursuant to revised Policy 5-25 and its accompanying regulation.
- Organizations which currently have approved facility use permits be given 60 calendar days to conform to the revised policy and regulation.
- The Superintendent be directed to bring back a recommendation for allowing non-exempt groups to meet as soon as feasible after school is released.