Westboro Baptist Church pickets briefly at Santa Monica High School
Members of the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church, an organization best known for protesting at military funerals, spent Monday morning picketing at Santa Monica High School in apparent protest of what the church called “brutish teachers & hateful parents" who "have broken the moral compass of this generation.”
The visit was quick and “everything was peaceful,” according to Sarah Wahrenbrock, a spokeswoman with the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District superintendent’s office.
“They did show up,” she said, “but they weren’t around very long.”
Wahrenbrock said she was still trying to gather additional details, but a news release from Westboro Baptist Church said members would picket the high school from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. Monday. Supporters of the students claimed the church was specifically protesting the school’s affirmation of LGBT students.
In response to the planned protest, the school district’s Board of Education adopted an open letter to the community last week, reaffirming the school board’s “unwavering commitment to teach tolerance, acceptance and compassion for others.”
The visit Monday morning came on the heels of the Oscars, where some protesters took their form of activism to tourists and Hollywood stars, the Huffington Post reported.
The church, based in Topeka, Kan., "engages in daily peaceful sidewalk demonstrations opposing the homosexual lifestyle of soul-damning, nation-destroying filth," according to a statement on its website.