Volunteer School Chaplains Bill Faces Fears of Animals Sacrifices, Devilish Preachers

Volunteer School Chaplains Bill Faces Fears of Animals Sacrifices, Devilish Preachers

A bill allowing volunteer chaplains in schools caused Dems to worry about Satanist or Santeria preachers entering schools

Liv Caputo
Liv Caputo
March 7, 2024

TALLAHASSEE, FL—Florida public schools will soon have their doors open wide for religious officials of all denominations to provide counseling, even—Democrats worry—Satanists and Santeria sacrifices.

If signed into law, school chaplains would be available beginning this Fall. The measure provides for volunteer clergymen in schools, charging these religious officials with providing mental health and spiritual counseling for students and staff.

A background check is required, though certifications in mental health or counseling are not.

"It does surprise me about the controversy because we have had chaplains in our public institutions for centuries," bill sponsor Republican Sen. Erin Grall said on the Senate Floor Friday.

"We provide so many wraparound services to our children in schools...and this is merely adding an option that has the utmost transparency, [we] have a list of all of those who are volunteering their time available to the entire community to look at."

The Tallahassee Democrat reported that because the bill does not specify which religious denominations would be allowed in schools, the Satanic Temple is eagerly awaiting the law's passage.

When asked Wednesday about the possibility of Satanists entering schools under the guise of chaplains, Sen. Grall explained that chaplains must be approved by the school and parents, with their information posted online. She then said that "because of the free exercise of religion, this is not limiting to any specific religion and would allow any religion to participate in the program."

Senate Minority Leader Lauren Book wondered if Santeria, a folk religion involving animal sacrifice, would be allowed under the bill, curious if children would be exposed to sacrifices at school. Grall explained that school safety laws and rules must apply in conjunction with the chaplaincy program.

Rep. Ashley Gantt raised similar concerns last month on the House Floor, explaining a 2016 after-school Satan club in Tacoma, Washington.

"I think it was in Washington State when Satanists started going into schools and asking to do prayers—people were up in arms!" she said. "We're really opening up a can of worms to allow that to happen. If that's not your intent, it's going to be a reaction to the ambiguity in this bill."

Despite Democratic fears of devilish chaplains preaching to students, the bill passed the Senate Floor down party lines. Because it has already passed the House, it will go to the Governor to be signed into law.


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Liv Caputo

Liv Caputo

Livia Caputo is a senior at Florida State University, working on a major in Criminology, and a triple minor in Psychology, Communications, and German. She has been working on a journalism career for the past year, and hopes to become a successful reporter after graduation. Her work has been cited in Fox News, the New York Post, and the Daily Mail

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