On Nov. 18, three members from the Westboro Baptist Church stood just outside the grounds of East Lansing High School. Centrally located in Kansas, WBC has been made famous for protesting military funerals, high schools, and churches since 1955 in order to send out messages opposing homosexual lifestyles.
Around 2:50 p.m., a crowd of counter protesters including ELHS students, MSU students, and members of the East Lansing and Lansing communities gathered to show opposition to the WBC advocates.
“I feel like they certainly have a right to be here, but its obvious that their ideals are much different from mine, and the people from my school,” said ELHS sophomore, Justin Baker.
City officials spent days to ensure that today’s protest and counter protest would be a safe, productive environment. Teachers and parents of the ELHS also had to take time to prepare their students. They knew that their children and students would be exposed to things that they had not experienced before, and that it might not be an environment students would feel comfortable in. The biggest part of their job as educators was to inform the students about the situation.
“All my friends are coming out today after school to support the people being targeted,” said Baker. “Our teachers told us to stay positive, and that is what we were going to do.”
Those who participated in the counter protest and members of the peace team promoted the message that everyone was different from one another, but they joined together that day to promote unity, love and peace within the community.
Check out this video to see live coverage of the Westboro Baptist Church Counter Protest: