Religious group comes out against physical abuse in the name of discipline.

The Satanic Temple is fighting a school district in the Fort Worth, TX area for allegedly indulging in corporal punishment.

The temple, which is against corporal punishment, has even installed a billboard in Springtown, along State Highway 199, that displays a message against “being hit in school.” The group’s logo, a goat skull within a pentagram, can also be seen on the board. There is even an address to a website that students can visit to fill out a form that affirms their belief in the "the inviolability of the human body," a belief held by the group’s members.

If a student registered on the site experiences corporal punishment, the group promises to mail a letter to the school board for the student. They promise to even fight for the student in court, according to an official statement issued by Lucien Greaves, a spokesman for the temple.

However, Greaves made it clear that registering won’t make the student a member of the temple. But, it will signify that the student believes in the idea of an individual’s body being inviolable, which is one of the group’s core tenets.

The Satanic Temple, despite the name, is actually a group of people that rebel against established or outdated norms, beliefs, and practices that they see as hindrances to progress. They are not theistic Satanists and only use Satanic themes as a symbol of opposition.

The group is now criticizing Springtown ISD for permitting corporal punishment. The district had come under the spotlight in 2012 after it was found that the Springtown High School’s male principal had paddled female students.

The group’s website, ProtectChildrenProject.com, indicates that Springtown was chosen as the spot for the billboard because of their routine involvement in corporal punishment. The site goes on to claim that the school district did not take action against the male principal responsible for paddling young female students.

However, the site states only one particular example, Springtown High School, to support its criticism. 

The Satanic Temple isn’t just against physical punishment. It claims that schools also practice psychological punishment by citing examples such as lack of access to bathrooms and solitary confinement etc.

Greaves believes that the billboard will provide hope to students, who are abused, that there is a way to protect themselves from “savagery.” 

The billboard was vandalized Friday morning.

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