Parents and others voiced their concerns Wednesday night about a bible release program and its implementation at the Knox County School Board meeting.
Currently, the program is only being offered at Sterchi Elementary School as part of a pilot study. It allows children to leave class to go to one hour of Bible instructional time.
Students need parental consent for the program and those programs would have to be conducted off public school property, which is allowed under Tennessee state law and has been deemed constitutional by the Supreme Court.
Some parents are not in agreement, though, and brought their concerns to Knox County school leaders Wednesday evening.
Last month, a post from an organization called the Satanic Children's Ministry of Knoxville sparked conversation about the program and the possibility of it being implemented.
"We are so proud to announce that pending the school board vote in November approving The Church at Sterchi Hill’s Bible Release Time program, Satanic Children's Ministry of Knoxville will be coming to your local elementary with our Satanic Release Program! For one hour once a month, your children can be released from their school to come learn about Baphomet," the post read.
Angel Jones, a Satanic Minister, was at the meeting -- saying she feels the program does not foster inclusivity.
"The school should always feel safe and inclusive. Bible release time does not foster that atmosphere," she said.
Susan Horn, who serves on the school board in Knox County's 5th district, said these issues with the program ultimately would need to be taken up at the state level.
"This is state statute. Parents have this right. I think if there are issues with it, then we need to be talking to our legislature," she said.
The school board said it is drafting up a policy to address religious programs and ensure it meets the requirements of state law.
Under Tennessee code 49-2-130, local school boards are allowed to adopt a policy that excuses a student from school to attend a "released time course in religious moral instruction for up to one class period during each school week."