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The little devil

Respecting other people's beliefs is something we do every day. But how do you react to a Satanist?

Dear Bex,

I'm sifting through Year 9's harebrained scribblings on The Ancient Mariner when Scott from 10b knocks on the door and sidles in, picking his nose thoughtfully.

"I've got a problem with the new PSHE timetable, Miss," he mumbles. "I'm worried that it conflicts with my religious beliefs."

"And what religious beliefs are those, my dear?" I ask, wondering if he's suddenly developed a love of hair shirts or a passion for Ashtanga yoga.

"I'm a Satanist, Miss."

"Er, right," I stammer. "And what part of the PSHE curriculum contradicts your beliefs, exactly?"

"Well it says here we're going to have to learn about how to create long- lasting, loving relationships."

"And you're problem with that is?"

"I don't believe in creating long-lasting, loving relationships. I believe in creating short hate-filled ones that cause huge personal torment and generally advance the spread of evil."

"Er, OK," I say, not quite sure how to respond. "Well what about next Thursday? There's a nice session on raising self-esteem."

Scott shakes his purple-streaked head sadly. "Can't do it, Miss. As a Satanist, it's my firm belief that I'm a poisonous cockroach whose only purpose on this ugly planet is to sully it with my hideous monstrosity. To be told otherwise would be an insult to my faith."

"Ah right." I pause. "The thing is, we have been quite tolerant of your lifestyle until now, Scott. We let you sacrifice that pig in food technology. And we even let you wear that gimp mask in the school photo."

"Only because every time I stepped out of line you could zip up the mouth."

I sigh. "Can't you do it as a favour to me, my dear? I promise you can just stand at the back, exuding evil."

"Can I exude evil and suggest menace simultaneously, Miss?"

"Of course you can, poppet." I smile reassuringly. "Now run along. I think I can hear the lesson bell now."

Love Kate x.

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