WESTMINSTER, Colo. – Hidden Lake High School art teacher “Ms. Mitchell” isn’t a big fan of Halloween, and she recently conducted a spiritual “cleansing” in her classroom to drive away “evil spirits.”
The teacher also gave students tarot card readings during class time using materials crafted by infamous occultist James Wasserman, Fox 31 reports.
“I wasn’t comfortable at all. I immediately left the room and called my grandma because for my religion we don’t believe in that stuff,” a Catholic student who did not want to be identified told the news site. “I felt like I was violated basically because if I were to pray over a student in the school, that would have been a major thing and somebody’s parents would have been really mad.”
The teen said students filed into class on the Friday before Halloween and “out of nowhere, I just heard her come out from by her desk and say I am just going to start a cleansing, guys, to cleanse all the bad spirits.”
The student told Fox 31 she decided to record the experience with her phone once the teacher began tarot card readings for students, and the video was highlighted in the news broadcast.
The teacher is seen in the classroom sitting at a table with a student and a stack of cards, with five of them laid out in a cross pattern.
“This is a really good card on an energetic level,” the teacher told one student.
Others weren’t as lucky.
Two students drew the death card, the news site reports.
“They were like, ‘What does that mean?’” the whistleblowing student said. “She said it doesn’t particularly mean death, but I’m guessing it’s not good.”
The student’s video also captured the teacher’s guide for “Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot Deck,” authored by James Wasserman.
Wasserman is described as “a founder of the modern Ordo Templi Orientis,” according to Wikipedia, which describes the cult as “an international fraternal and religious organization.”
The Ordo Templi Orientis was highly influenced by Aleister Crowley, an occultist, ceremonial magician and alleged Satanist who developed the cult’s rituals involving “sex magic,” according to the site.
The Denver teen told Fox 31 when she mentioned to her grandmother that her teacher was using materials from Wasserman, she wasn’t happy.
“My grandma ended up telling that the person who made these cards is a really big Satanist in the cult ways,” the girl said.
The teen told the site she left Hidden Lake High School because of the experience, though administrators since removed the teacher and launched an investigation into the video.
“The District is conducting a full and thorough investigation and until the issue is resolved, the teacher in question will not be in the classroom,” according to an Adams School District 50 statement.
Fox 31 reports some students support the teacher, and several of them wrote posts in her defense on Facebook, but many parents clearly do not.
“Come on, you can’t say God or pray but you can do card readings?” Cindy Boehm Poppen posted the Fox 31’s Facebook page. “(Not against card reading) but come on teach, you don’t have to do or show them, they have the internet.”
“I don’t think these cards have a place in the classroom,” Lisa Roybal added.
“I love how we pick and choose which beliefs are allowed in schools,” Cassondra Ruth Cofresi wrote. “If you don’t want my kid praying in school, I don’t want your wiccan card games in school either!”