Teacher Put on Leave for Wearing Devil Costume and Greeting Students With ‘Hail Satan’

It’s that time of year again. A time for pumpkin spice everything, trick-or-treaters becoming their favorite Marvel characters, and teachers dressing up as the devil and greeting students by saying “Hail Satan.”


Yes, that last one actually happened, and an Arizona educator has been placed on leave after he took the Halloween spirit to a whole new level.

A Mesa High School teacher is being investigated after reportedly dressing up as a devil and saying “hail Satan” to students, according to one of the students in his class.

Sophomore Nathaniel Hamlet said last Wednesday he walked into class and noticed his teacher wearing devil horns and carrying a pitchfork.  Hamlet alleges the teacher waved the pitchfork over students’ heads as they entered and said, “hail Satan”.

“Some people thought it was funny, some people didn’t like it, some people were like ‘whatever,’ they just blew it off,” Hamlet said.

Now, opinions are divided. Some think the gag wasn’t as big a deal as some are making it out to be. Others are saying that the move was offensive and that some type of accountability is in order.

The teacher, who has remained anonymous, explained that he had dressed up in the costume for Halloween Spirit Week and that the teacher next door had come to class in an angel costume. It was supposed to be all about “dynamic duos.” It is a classic pairing, of course, like peanut butter and jelly, or politicians and empty promises.


The situation became even more tense when Hamlet’s father entered the drama. “If you’re gonna keep the Christian stuff out, then you got to keep the devil-worshipping stuff out,” he told administrators. While the teacher has been placed on leave, the father indicated he believes “he should probably get fired.”

But not all parents are taking the hellfire and brimstone approach to the matter. Some told local news reporters that while they did not agree with the teacher’s actions, firing him would be an excessive punishment. And therein lies the question: Was this simply a harmless joke, or does the teacher deserve to be cast out into the darkness where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth?

From my perspective, it was an ill-advised move – the teacher should have realized that putting on that type of show might offend at least some of the parents. Perhaps he could have gotten away with it had he not done the “Hail Satan” schtick as kids were coming into the classroom. Paired with the angel teacher, it might have been easier to swallow.

However, this should not be a fireable offense – especially if he performs well as an educator. Yes, the gag might have been offensive, but it caused no harm that would warrant taking the man’s job.


But this does also raise another question. What if a teacher came to school dressed as Jesus Christ or one of the apostles? One of the teachers did wear the angel costume, but would a teacher be penalized if they wore something that clearly references Christianity?

It’s not beyond the realm of possibility, is it?

At the end of the day, the teacher’s actions were a silly joke that he probably should have reconsidered. But in this case, terminating his employment would be overkill.

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