Hate Groups? Not in Our School

When an anti-gay hate group decided to visit their school, the students of Gunn High drowned out their protest with a celebration of acceptance.
Gunn High Photo by The Working Group

When the students of Gunn High School in Palo Alto, Calif. heard that members of the Westboro Baptist Church—an extremist anti-Semite and anti-gay group known for blaming tragedies, including September 11 and the Virginia Tech shootings, on American tolerance for homosexuality—would be protesting outside their school, they did not sit quietly.

The church had announced that it would picket in front of Bay Area schools and Jewish institutions, holding its trademark signs (such as "God Hates You" and "God Hates Fags"). The students of Gunn High gathered to meet them, waving signs and singing songs in celebration of love and acceptance.

It's become common for communities to respond to the Westboro church's visits with counterprotests celebrating diversity and tolerance, which often dwarf the Westboro group and drown out their message.


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