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    The Satanic Temple Announces Winners of its Devil’s Advocate Scholarship

    Published on October 13, 2020

    SALEM, MA — The Satanic Temple (TST) has awarded the Devil’s Advocate Scholarship to four high school graduates. These students will be receiving a trophy and $666 to assist them in their future plans.

    For their application, students answered one of two prompts: “What initiatives have you undertaken that are consistent with TST’s tenets and mission?” and “Please discuss and describe in detail any one of the teachers who crushed your spirit, undermined your self-confidence, and made you hate every minute you were forced to be in school.” Students had the option to address their chosen prompt utilizing any creative medium, including essays, poems, paintings, and short films.

    The winners included “Aubin” from New York, “Hannah Rice” from Arizona, “Hedera Belmond” from Iowa, and “Soda Lightful” from North Dakota. Their submissions can be viewed here: https://thesatanictemple.com/pages/scholarship-winners.

    TST’s Scholarship Committee member Ashlee Wright says, “Out of the three hundred scholarship submissions, it was difficult to choose our winners as we received many exceptional submissions. The vast majority expressed the trauma they were forced to endure in school. They recalled the brutal tactics their teachers used to insult, disparage, and decimate their confidence and self-worth.”

    Wright continues, “It was disturbing to read just how many teachers used violence, intimidation, and humiliation in their classrooms to assert their authority. Many students attribute their anxiety, depression, loss of confidence, body dysmorphia, suicidal ideation, and even physical scars to their teachers and the oppressive environment of schooling as a whole.”

    “‘Every single day that I walked into the school, I felt the urge to hide and cry…Every second I was confined within those walls were torture, and all I wanted to do was escape,’ wrote one applicant whose teacher ridiculed her for her appearance. A special-education student now suffers claustrophobia due to an instructor who routinely locked him in a closet: ‘Eventually they decided locking me in a closet for hours on end would be a better idea than repeated insults and threats. I felt like a neglected pet.’ Many other applicants shared similar traumatizing experiences. No one with any amount of empathy would force a child to endure these conditions,” says Wright.

    TST hopes that these students’ stories will instigate a conversation about the horrors of compulsory schooling. “Other scholarships ask students to share stories that praise teachers who controlled their thoughts, movements, and behaviors all while the institution robs students of their civil rights. There are long-term consequences to the treatment students endure in school, but it is commonly neglected at our own peril,” concludes Wright.

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