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Westboro Baptist Church has announced members will picket Santa Monica High School on Monday, Feb. 25.
Courtesy Photo
Westboro Baptist Church has announced members will picket Santa Monica High School on Monday, Feb. 25.

News, School Board, Samohi, Santa Monica, Police Department

Anti-Gay Baptist Group To Picket Santa Monica High School On Monday, Feb. 25

Posted Feb. 13, 2013, 10:44 pm

Brenton Garen / Editor-in-Chief

Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church, a controversial anti-gay group that regularly stages protests around the country as often as several times a week, has announced it will picket Santa Monica High School the day after it plans to picket the Academy Awards.

Earlier this week, the group announced a handful of its members would picket outside Samohi on Monday, Feb. 25 from 7 am to 8 am.

The group said the picket’s purpose was to “tell students the Gospel truth which their parents, teachers and preachers try desperately to hide from them.”

“We will give your children an opportunity to see what truth looks like, the face of what they were entitled to have from every adult that ever touched their lives,” reads a news release on its website. “You brutish teachers and hateful parents have broken the moral compass of this generation, teaching rebellion with everything you say and do.”

News of the picket has spread throughout the school community in the past few days, which has been cause for concern for some parents.

“Is there a plan in place regarding the Westboro Baptist Church's intent to picket Samohi,” parent Leslie Wizan wrote in an open letter to SMMUSD leaders, the Police Department, and local media. “Will there be a police presence that morning around the high school?  What does the SMMUSD and Samohi administration intend to do about student safety?”

SMMUSD School Board President Laurie Lieberman responded to the letter, saying she wanted to assure the community that the District was aware of the situation.

She said administrators had begun working with the Santa Monica Police Department on a plan for the Feb. 25 picket, should it actually occur. 

“Samohi’s principal, Laurel Fretz, has just informed Samohi staff about the components of the plan and parents can expect to receive information shortly,” Lieberman said. “The plan will certainly include a police presence. As always, student safety is our priority. The District will be working to ensure that our students are not only safe, but that a protest, should it occur, will not interfere with the school day.”

Westboro Baptist Church members also plan to picket at three Malibu locations (Malibu Presbyterian, Waveside Church, and Our Lady of Malibu) on Sunday, Feb. 24 before heading to Hollywood to picket outside the Academy Awards.

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Comments

Feb. 14, 2013, 9:08:04 am

tracie said...

theese folks need a life. coming all the way from kansas..... maybe we should surround them with people to educate them along with the police....just saying.....

Feb. 14, 2013, 9:18:56 am

MDG said...

Should be a great day for seeing how well our teachers have taught the 1st Amendment principles and how our kids demonstrate their understanding through, hopefully powerful peaceful counter response.

Feb. 14, 2013, 10:06:43 am

Mary Ann Vorasky said...

I notice this group is limiting their Malibu protests to church locations. I feel the same should be encouraged in Santa Monica, and that the school is an inappropriate place for this group to stage their protest in Santa Monica.

Feb. 14, 2013, 10:54:54 am

Jim Thompson said...

Santa Monica and Malibu are hotbeds of rebellion? This sounds more like a junket to me.

Feb. 14, 2013, 2:20:00 pm

Roman said...

As newbie to L.A. I should learn how to not be surprised how folks don't have a response that I would deem appropriate for hate groups. Just because they don't have swatikas or white hoods doesn't imply they are not evil doers. I can assure you L.A. folks that when hate groups go to NYC they DO get out attention! Notice how they never visit shuls!

Feb. 14, 2013, 4:11:23 pm

Surf Diva said...

Sounds like Westboro is looking for a tax-write off for a vacation to a beautiful sunny place. I wish the IRS would revoke their tax exempt status and identify them as the hate-group that they are. We need to advocate for major media to stop giving this handful of familial nuts attention. Their power is derived from the coverage. There are so many wonderful non-profits with important messages that the media could focus upon instead.

Feb. 15, 2013, 8:55:19 am

Lyda said...

This just makes me so sad . . . I cannot imagine traveling all the way from Kansas to spread a Gospel of hate. Wow. Just one more reason why we are a Reconciling and Welcoming Church. God loves everyone - regardless of race, gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation.

Feb. 15, 2013, 12:13:20 pm

Uncle Don BF Fanning said...

Spread *love*! Dress as "Wizard of Oz" characters. Gender bend. And don't forget the witches--- the good ones! Be the media event! Unfortunately I live out of town or I'd join in.

Feb. 21, 2013, 7:49:57 pm

v said...

Not really a Baptist group...more like a nutjob cult.

Feb. 21, 2013, 7:58:49 pm

Denise said...

These people are crazy! It's so wrong to call themselves Christians! God Help Us!

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