The Westboro Baptist Church has announced plans to protest at Maize and Maize South high schools on Dec. 11. The church’s website does not list a reason for the protests. The district recently adopted uniform graduation gowns for reasons of inclusion.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Westboro Baptist Church is a hate group focusing on an anti-LGBT ideology. The church is known for its radical protests against this community.
The demonstrations are listed online as “public preachings” by the church. They will take place from 1:40-2:10 p.m. while school is in session. Because of the shortened Wednesday schedule, students could be met by protesters as they leave school during staff’s professional development time.
“We will do all we can to minimize the exposure that will inevitably cause a disruption to the learning environment,” principal Chris Botts said. “We will work collectively to show our support for all students and continue to promote our inclusivity and acceptance. Our response will hopefully be that of love and kindness.”
Defensive responses to the protests have already been planned by several groups.
”If they intend on spreading hate simultaneously at two high schools, we simply need twice the volunteers,” Parasol Patrol, a group dedicated to shielding children from displays of hatred, said on Facebook. “We need your help folks. Please share this.”