And so US school have to provide use of the facilities to after school religious groups.
Here, although The Satanic Temple, Inc.'s objectors may challenge the sanctity of this controversially named organization, the sanctity of the First Amendment's protections must prevail. Indeed, it is the First Amendment that enumerates our freedoms to practice religion and express our viewpoints on religion and all the topics we consider sacred. Though "the First Amendment is often inconvenient" depending on one's perspective or responsibilities, this inconvenience "does not absolve the government of its obligation to tolerate speech (Int'l Soc'y for Krishna Consciousness v. Lee, 1992, Kennedy, J. concurring). "Even in the school setting, a mere desire to avoid the discomfort and unpleasantness that always accompany an unpopular viewpoint is not enough to justify the suppression of speech." Child Evangelism Fellowship of N.J. v. Stafford Twp. Sch. Dist., 3d Cir, 2004)
Would have been nice if someone had thrown those ideas around every time a legislature passed a law against discussing critical race theory, race history stuff, and other divisive concepts.
Judge John M. Gallagher (who is, incidentally, a Trump appointee) cut through the various piddly shenanigans the district had employed to disqualify the After School Satan Club and ordered the district to honor their original resource use agreement and let the club have its on-school-grounds meetings.
That ruling was filed on May 1.
Since then, a slate of school board candidates ran on a platform of "no more expensive over-dramatic baloney," citing the ASSC lawsuit as one glaring example of how the old majority wasted $1.6 million on unnecessary legal bills. Those Democratic candidates clobbered the incumbent conservatives.
That was last week. Yesterday, a final settlement in the case was announced. The district will not retaliate against any of the folks involved in the suit. The district shall not subject ASSC to any requirements not faced by other clubs (rules about distributing fliers, etc.).
As for money, the district will pay The Satanic Temple $1 in nominal damages. Their insurance carrier will pay $200,000 to cover TST's legal costs.
What's next. More After School Satan Clubs, most likely. And if Oklahoma successfully launches the first religious charter school, I expect The Satanic Temple will be right there to apply for a charter, too.
And maybe, just maybe, somewhere in this country a person will think twice before demanding that religion be put back in schools.