C E Quandt, Principal of Indianapolis' North Central High School, has e-mailed students, faculty and parents asking them to refrain from counter-protesting at the school Thursday afternoon. Westboro Baptist Church members (aka Fred Phelps' family) will be protesting outside the high school from 2:55pm - 3:30pm.
The hate group is known for its godhatesfags.com website and despicable "protests" outside of funerals of hate crime victims, soldiers and celebrities. The clan will be demonstrating because the high school's production of The Laramie Project, a play about the death of Matthew Sheppard. Sheppard was killed because he was gay.
Instead of physically attending a counter protest, here are two huge ways you can help to make a difference and thwart everything that Phelps' hate group stands for:
- Make a pledge at the Phelps-a-thon. Pledge for every minute they protest ($1, $5 or 50 cents), or a flat rate for the entire time the group is outside the school. All money collected will be split between the North Central High School Gay/Straight Alliance and Indiana Youth Group.
- Buy a ticket to North Central's production of The Laramie Project. Show dates are September 24th, 25th, and 26th at 7pm. Tickets cost seven dollars and can be purchased at the door. Need more info? Call the school at 317-259-5301
The Principal's e-mail is after the jump.
North Central Families:
I have been alerted by the state and local police departments that an out of state fringe church, Westboro Baptist Church (WBC), will be picketing several locations in the Indianapolis area on September 24, 2009. North Central High School has been targeted as one location because of the drama production, The Laramie Project. The play is about how the brutal slaying of a gay University of Wyoming student impacted an entire community.
The administration of North Central High School is working with state police, IMPD and township security to ensure the safety of every student and staff member. I have also had a conversation with Marcia Goldstone of the Jewish Relations Council. The WBC holds regular protests around the country against military funerals, Jewish institutions and other institutions that it believes support homosexuality or in any other manner contravenes "God's Law." The majority of the membership appears to be made up of one extended family.
The main goal of the group is to generate attention and media coverage. I urge all parents and community members to ignore the protesters, if you see them. Do not draw attention to them, do not engage with them, and do not give them any undue publicity. The protests are usually small (under 10 people) and include women and children.
Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) is based in Topeka, Kansas and regularly holds protests around the country. Its messages are vile and hateful. The WBC's primary goal is to create publicity for itself and its message of hate. Every piece of publicity it receives is considered a victory by its membership. WBC members videotape all protests and will, on occasion, tempt or "bait" individuals to respond. Several WBC members are attorneys and they are very litigious.
I am confident that North Central High School will be prepared to ensure your child's safety. Since the primary goal of the WBC is to gain publicity I will not allow North Central students or staff to engage in any sort of counter-rally or protest. I urge all parents and community members to stay away. Let's NOT give the WBC what it wants.....publicity.
C E Quandt