Satanists want in on the right to pray in school - as long as they can pray to the devil.
The Satanic Temple states that they are fighting for the rights of public school students to learn in a cruelty-free classroom.
In a press release, the NYC organization declares May 15 as "Protect Children Day," and describes a goal of ending physical and mental abuse in public schools.
After students register on Satanic Temple's ProtectChildrenProject.com, "the Temple will then notify their respective school boards that their deeply held beliefs oppose physical and psychological abuses, including the use of corporal punishment, physical restraints, and isolation rooms as forms of punishment," a press release states.
The Protect Children Project's website encourages children to submit their name, email address, and the name of their school in order to receive help from the Temple. The organization maintains that submission does not make one a Temple member, and is open to all denominations.
"One of the fundamental tenets of The Satanic Temple is personal sovereignty and the inviolability of one's body and mind," Temple spokesperson Lucien Greaves said. "Hitting a child or placing them in solitary confinement goes entirely against our beliefs."
According to an Education Week article, there are no federal laws regarding corporal punishment, and the practice is legal in 19 states. The article and The Satanic Temple's press release both cite a U.S. Department of Education statistic stating that in one year, over 200,000 students were physically punished in school.
ProtectChildrenProject.com provides fact sheets on physical and psychological abuse in schools, an FAQ for students, and a Satanic activity book.
"We want children to know that they are permitted to pray to Satan in school and that they can even share their religious beliefs with others in accordance with certain guidelines," Greaves said.