Satanists won a victory when they convinced a Pennsylvania school district not to ban student dresses that were "satanic" in nature.
Rose Tree Media School District in Philadelphia had banned satanic clothes. This was in addition to clothing that is sexually suggestive, obscene or promote violence. The superintendent made a statement earlier in the week stating that the dress code would no longer include satanic clothing, according to WPVI-TV (an ABC TV station in Philadelphia).
According to WPVI, the announcement stated that "Although there have been no complaints or concerns raised by any student or parent or resident, we will remove such language from our current clothing code information in the students handbook."
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Joseph Rose, the founder of the group Satanic Delco in Philadelphia.
Joseph Rose, the founder of Satanic Delco in Philadelphia, started contacting the school district around a month ago, after hearing about the dress code language through parents who have children living there. He argued that the wording was discriminatory.
Rose stated that Rose believes it is unfair and unconstitutional to suggest that a public school would allow only one religion, even though it is not a place for religious worship.
According to its website, Satanic Delco doesn't "promote belief in a personal Satan." We believe religion can and should be separated from superstition. To embrace the name Satan means to engage in rational inquiry that is free from superstition and archaic, tradition-based supernaturalism. Satanists must actively seek to improve their critical thinking and practice reasonable agnosticism in every area. Our beliefs should be able to adapt to the most current scientific understandings of our material world, and not the other way around.
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Ann Juliano, a Villanova law professor, said that the school district did the right thing. She said, "They recognize there could possibly be religious beliefs at stake, not that they are, but they could be,"
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Rose is currently fighting for similar dress codes at Garnet Valley School District. This ban would prohibit jewelry or clothing with satanic or religious references.
Rose stated that she was glad the Rose Tree Media School District made the right decision and hopes it will send a message to all schools about freedom of expression.
Follow Mike Snider via Twitter: @mikesnider
This article first appeared on USA TODAY. Satanists ask PA school district for a change in'satanic dress code ban'