An independent Satanic organization convinced a Pennsylvania school district to remove the anti-satanic rule from its organization.
The founder of Satanic Delco, Joseph Rose, told WPVI that fellow Satanists with children in the Rose Tree Media School District pointed out the dress code prohibits any clothing or gear that are “satanic in nature.”
“The idea that a public school would allow religious expression in school, but choose to single out and prohibit the expression of one specific religion obviously seemed like a problem for us,” Rose said.
Rose spent several weeks calling and emailing Superintendent Eleanor DiMarino-Linnen.
“I’m simply asking for any direct mention of ‘Satanic’ to be removed,” Rose told Timcast via email. “It’s unfair and unconstitutional to single out and prohibit ONE specific religion. It’s all or none!”
“I wasn’t making a lot of progress,” he told the Patch. “I think sending the message I wasn’t going to stop made a difference.”
Then, the district announced it would change the language of its dress code.
“Although we have had no complaints or concerns brought forward by any student, parent, or resident we will remove this language from our current dress code information in the student handbook,” the district said in a statement.
Rose said that no one from the community has directly confronted him, but they have “expressed their displeasure on Facebook.”
A local Satanic organization has convinced a school district in Delaware County that its dress code was discriminatory against Satanists. https://t.co/ZUpYoPnpw7
— Action News on 6abc (@6abc) October 26, 2021
“I’m glad the (Rose Tree Media School District) made the right choice, and I only hope it sends a message to other schools that freedom of expression has to be given equally,” Rose told USA TODAY.
He added that he supports the district’s ban on items that feature violence, sexually suggestive topics, substance use, and obscenities in a high school environment.
Rose has begun a similar effort involving the Garnet Valley School District. The district has a ban on clothing and gear with satanic or “cult-ish” imagery.
Rose’s organization, Satanic Delco, says it believes “that religion can, and should, be divorced from superstition” and does not “promote a belief in a personal Satan” nor does its members believe in the “existence of Satan or the supernatural.”
The group believes in the “7 Fundamental Tenets of The Satanic Temple” and runs several philanthropic efforts, including To Hell with Homelessness, Heathens Helping Hounds, and the Outsider Achievement Award, which gives $666 to a high school student who “embraces individualism, empathy, free-thought, and skepticism.”
Satanic Delco did not immediately respond to Timcast’s request for comment.
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article did not include comments that Rose provided in an email interview with Timcast.