Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sing the praises of high school kids

A local high school a few towns over is just wonderful. As this article in today's big city paper highlights, the kids are alright.

The high school students are performing "The Laramie Project" tomorrow evening. That is the play based on interviews of actual people from Laramie, Wyo., where gay college student Matthew Shepard died after being beaten and tied to a fence in October 1998.

Oh, and they have guests. Those lovely "parishioners" the Westboro Baptist "Church" in Kansas, a "church" which sole purpose seems to be protesting against gays says it will picket this high school tomorrow. Keep in mind the majority of the "parishioners" are related to the "minister".

The director hoped to "generate 'difficult discussions' about prejudice and gay rights in the school and community." Wow, did she.

According to the the article students and staff have announced they will stand "shoulder to shoulder to form a 'wall of silence' between the protesters and the school at the end of the school day. The student rally will be held even if the Westboro group doesn't come."

"I have received nothing but positive reactions here," says the director, who is a guidance counselor at the school. "Ultimately, it is about not using hurtful
language in a school where every student and faculty member has a right to feel safe. Our hope is at the end of this all students will feel more comfortable."
The article quotes a "church" spokeswoman rationalizing protesting a high school for this reason
"We chose that high school because they are being taught rebellion against God and his standards every day.. . . The latest evidence of it is the fact that they are producing 'The Laramie Project,' which is nothing but as a way to teach rebellion!!"
Meanwhile the police superintendent actually called the protests "sort of a gift" (do I love my state or what?) because he says "I think it's given us a good opportunity to have some dialogue about free speech, lawful protest, and gay rights."

The superintendent says all of this has lead to "'great conversations' about the topics of intolerance, race, and disrespect. We're not comfortable having those conversations. It's a dialog that vibrant schools should be having."

Several students were quoted as well including a senior who said "many students were surprised to find out that using terms such as 'faggot' or statements like 'that is so gay' are considered offensive to many."

Shame on that bogus "church" for cloaking their bigotry, homophobia and hatred under the cloak of religion. The cloak of Christianity.

And Sing the Praises of the students and the teachers, staff and community that have embraced us all.


Real Life Drama Queen said...

What a powerful blog today. Many applause. I cannot abide a sexist, racists or any other hatred hiding behind a church. Apparently then didn't read the Bible very well. Because I believe that it says hatred is bad. Not in those exact words of course. I hate hypocrites.

TSP said...


Great blog. I like your POV.

Anyway, I had an idea that I think you'll be keen to. Shoot me an email (my address is in my blogger profile) for more info.



Goofball said...

thank god for schools that teach their students to be "rebellious" so they learn to think critically and independently and learn to debate etc


UUbuntu said...

The Westboro Baptist Church is, as I recall, run by Fred Phelps, and is notorious for promoting their only message -- "God Hates ...". Googling their "church" will show their single issue. I appreciate the fact that you did not link to their site, and I don't either.

Those folks live for publicity, and I feel that the response of Canton High School seems both appropriate and powerful.

Jenn in Holland said...

And sing praises to a girl like you who sings praises!
Great post!

Jami said...

There's a joke that could be adapted to the Westboro "church" folks:

Why is it so hard for CSI to identify the body when someone from Westboro Baptist Church dies?

Because their DNA is all the same and no one has enough teeth for dental records.

(Yes, I'm bad!)