When the Knox County School Board was considering voting for release time Bible education a group known as the Satanic Children’s Ministry of Tennessee made it clear they were going to pursue equal time to promote their beliefs. Knox County voted down the measure and the point became moot in Knox County.
Now it seems the organization has turned its sights to counties that already have release time Bible education in place. This includes Campbell and Anderson Counties.
In a post on the Satanic Children’s Ministry of Tennessee’s Facebook page they say:
“We are sad to announce that we will not have a children’s program at Sterchi Elementary. Tonight was a huge loss for The Satanic Ministry, Elgin Youth Foundation, and The Church at Sterchi Hill. The Knox County Board of Education, with a vote of 5-4, voted against the policy that would allow our program into the Knox County Schools.
We have worked so hard to develop our program and we were so very excited to be able to work with Knox County Schools to implement our program. We definitely don’t want our hard work to go to waste. We now have our eyes on Blount Co, Anderson Co, and Campbell Co. We hear they have all had success in getting religious release time in the schools.
We aren’t done fighting for religious freedom for all. We may have lost this time, but we are not going away! We will continue to seek out ways to teach children the tenets of Satanism.”
As it currently stands in Tennessee for Release Time in the secondary school level, this nor any other (such as the case with Bible Release Time) is allowed “in” the schools.
It must have three things in order to be offered to your children. First is parental permission. A parent or legal guardian must grant permission for their child to take any release time classes without exception.
Second, it must be held off school grounds and in no form on the school campus. If and when any organization locates a facility to utilize it is also their responsibility to transport students to and from that said location at the organizations expense. This also includes a handicap accessible vehicle to transport the students in a handicap accessible building if the location is not within safe walking distance. The building must meet codes etc.
The third thing is they must secure all of their own funding. This funding would have to include payroll for a teacher or administrator based on how many classes a day they plan to offer. It would have to include rent, utilities, insurances and any curriculum booklets or papers for example.