TST has distributed hoodies to Satanists in Pennsylvania’s Mahanoy Area School District as part of a religious ritual. This comes in response to administrators threatening to take disciplinary action against students who wanted to participate in a peaceful protest by wearing hoodies. The students wanted to protest the school district’s suspension of a student who used general profanity about the school in a Snapchat message that she sent privately to friends while she was off of school property.
TST sent a notice to the Mahanoy District School Board informing them that Satanists in the school district may wear Satanic hoodies “as a religious exercise as an expression of their faith.” The notice says that the School’s “extensive efforts to control speech explicitly violate our religious tenets and our sacred mission to oppose tyranny.”
Inside the hoodies, there will be messages that address the school, such as “Fuck the fascist Mahanoy School District,” “Fuck Mahanoy’s petty tyrants,” “Fuck Mahanoy school board in their smelly, dirty assholes.” The message will not be visible to anyone while the hoodie is worn. In the notice to the School Board, we state, “This will be an act of ritual defiance which we have carefully planned to avoid any disruption of your important scholastic purposes.” This religious exercise is protected by Pennsylvania’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment.
TST also informed the school of another religious ritual that declares: "Freedom – That's my Satanic behest." This sentiment is celebrated with the acronym, "FTMSB." Concerned that people might think it could stand for, "Fuck The Mahanoy School Board," TST has informed the Mahanoy School District Board that they are advising their "adherents to make absolutely clear to anyone who asks that those letters definitely do not stand for 'Fuck The Mahanoy School Board'. Students at Mahanoy, or anywhere else, who wear the 'FTMSB' shirt should be presumed to be doing so for our explicit religious statement about freedom." Anyone is welcome to purchase these T-shirts on our website.
The original suspension and subsequent lawsuit involves a student who was denied entry on a cheerleading squad. She sent a Snapchat message to her friends that say, “Fuck school fuck softball fuck cheer fuck everything.” Her school found out, and she was suspended. Objecting to her school district’s violation of her First Amendment rights, she sued. The case was just heard by the Supreme Court, and the outcome is pending.
Students of the school district organized a protest by designating a day in which everyone would wear hoodies, an article of clothing that is against the school’s dress code policy. The Mahanoy School District principal posted on Facebook that the school district views that this event “will not simply be a violation of the dress code policy. It is an act of defiance and insubordination and will be treated as such.” He also says that students “will be held accountable according to our discipline code.”
The Mahanoy School District must have spent tens of thousands of dollars to claim the right to suppress the speech of their students wherever they are. Such behavior is the very definition of tyrannical. The school administrators’ despicable actions violate the fundamental tenets of our religion. TST has a duty to protect its members from the Mahanoy school administrators who take out their frustrations of never having been loved by wielding their unjust power capriciously. None of these people should be allowed in the vicinity of children.
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