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Satanic Temple objects to governor’s push for more religion in schools and says members could act as student chaplains

Dark messengers of satanism could soon be walking the hallways of Florida’s public schools, and it’s a consequence of hard-right governor Ron DeSantis’s push for more religion in education.

Members of the Satanic Temple say they are poised to act as volunteer chaplains under a state law that took effect this week opening campuses to “additional counseling and support to students” from outside organizations.

Although HB 931 leaves the implementation of chaplain programs to individual school districts, and only requires schools to list a volunteer’s religion “if any”, DeSantis has made clear its intent is to restore the tenets of Christianity to public education.

Without the bill, DeSantis said at its signing in April: “You’re basically saying that God has no place [on campus]. That’s wrong.”

The satanists see the law, which comes amid a vigorous theocratic drive into education by the religious right nationally, as an equal opportunity: if Christian chaplains are permitted access to students, often at the most vulnerable and impressionable stages of their lives, then so are they.