Parents protested outside a Florida middle school on Wednesday after the city approved the installation of a Satanic pentagram – brought on by one of its teachers.
Earlier this month, the city of Boca Raton gave Boca Raton Middle School teacher Preston Smith permission to install the Satanic display at Sanborn Square, the same park where other religious organizations install a nativity scene and menorah during the holidays, WFTS reported.
The red installation includes the message: “May the children hail Satan.”
— Alanna Quillen (@AlannaWPTV) December 13, 2016
Smith is a known activist who pushes for separation of church from government and argued that if the city allows one religious display on public property, they must allow them all – even if they are offensive.
Parents are arguing that Smith should not be spreading Satanic messages and are attempting to move their children out of his Language Arts class.
Smith has no plans to step down from his role as teacher, he said in a statement.
“Students have an uncanny ability to be more tolerant, respectful and educated about diversity than most adults,” he said. “There is a mutual understanding not to discuss the display with me on campus.”
Here's the satanic display that went up in Sanborn Square in Boca Raton next to a nativity scene pic.twitter.com/RLJk0YnEzi
— Lulu Ramadan (@luluramadan) December 7, 2016
A petition has been drafted by parents asking officials to remove Smith from the school.
Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Dr. Robert Avossa said while he understands parents’ concerns, there is no indication that Smith has expressed his views while acting like a teacher.
“We certainly can’t micro-manage what an individual does outside the schoolhouse,” Avossa said.
Smith said “May the Children Hail Satan” is an “artistic expression” against the Sanborn Square nativity scene, which performs a reenactment every year of “predatory indoctrination in a public park targeting young children before they have critical thinking skills,” Smith said.
— Andrew Ruiz WPTV (@AndrewNRuiz) December 20, 2016
The display has been vandalized several times, WPTV reported.