News

'Hate' group's tires slashed at Stanford

 

Protesters from a Kansas church that has received national attention for its anti-gay and anti-Semitic messages had their rental van's tires slashed when they visited Stanford University this morning, a member of the church said.

Five members of the Westboro Baptist Church protested this morning outside the Taube Hillel House, home to a Stanford Jewish student organization.

While the church members were picketing outside the building, the group's van had three of its tires slashed, according to church member Shirley Phelps-Roper.

University spokeswoman Lisa Lapin said campus police are investigating the vandalism to the group's rental van. She said campus officials had reached out to the Westboro members and offered a reserved parking spot and security for them after seeing reports that their vehicles had been vandalized at past rallies around the country.

However, Lapin said the group instead decided to park about a block away from the Taube Hillel House.

About 1,000 counter-protesters from Stanford showed up for a demonstration "in favor of tolerance and supporting diversity and community," and the event was "generally very peaceful," Lapin said.

Lapin said campus police believe a group of counter-protesters from the morning protest at Gunn High School may have followed the church members to Stanford and committed the vandalism. No arrests have been made in connection with the incident.

Lapin said the rental car company provided the group with an alternate means of transportation for the rest of the day. The church members plan to picket at several different sites in San Francisco, including two Jewish schools and a courthouse.

Phelps-Roper said the incident will not stop the group from its other protests today.

"It doesn't change anything, we simply did what we do and got to the next picket," she said.

The Westboro group has traveled throughout the Bay Area this week, picketing outside several sites, including a high school and Twitter headquarters in San Francisco on Thursday.

Nina Grotch with the Anti-Defamation League says along with anti-gay and anti-Semitic rhetoric, the church also espouses anti-black and anti-government rhetoric.

The Anti-Defamation League has coordinated with various sites where Westboro members planned to show up this week to provide information about the church and its tactics.

Grotch said the Anti-Defamation League encourages people to not engage with the church members, because "they're just there to provoke."

— Bay City News Service

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Alan
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jan 29, 2010 at 12:48 pm

How do we know that they didn't slash their own tires so they could then sue someone?


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 29, 2010 at 12:54 pm

Now it looks like they have won round 2 (after winning round 1 at Gunn by getting the media attention they wanted) by getting some locals to commit a crime.

Ignore them and they won't win any more rounds!!


Like this comment
Posted by Marvin
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jan 29, 2010 at 12:59 pm

Resident--why do you assume that a local did it? Because the WBC carzies say so? All of a sudden what they say is to be believed. Probably they did it themselves to generate controversy--note they turned down the offer of a reserved spot and security. Sounds like this is just more of their standard operating procedure.


Like this comment
Posted by wingnut
a resident of another community
on Jan 29, 2010 at 1:06 pm

They probably vandalized their own car just to get more publicity.


Like this comment
Posted by Alan
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jan 29, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Resident,

This family is in the "shake down" business. It makes more sense that the would ignore Stanford attempt to give them an secure location to park and slash their own tires.

They went here with the intention of suing someone with deep pockets.
I think Stanford should find a way to counter-sue with all the obvious proof they are in the shake-down business.


Like this comment
Posted by Moiaussi
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 29, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Lapin blames this on high school students? Because. . . ?


Like this comment
Posted by Marvin
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jan 29, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Moisussi--Lapin deosn not blame anyone. the story states:

"Lapin said campus police believe a group of counter-protesters....."


Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 29, 2010 at 1:53 pm


Every thing at Gunn and Stanford was captured on Video, by the police, by participants and by the WBC ( they video every event in detail )

It should be easy to identify those from the Gunn event who later appear at Stanford and very probably the identity of whoever committed the vandalism.

We were very, very lucky this morning at Gunn.

Outside activists will use and manipulate our kids to further their own agendas, if thing had become violent it is our kids who would have been damaged.

The PAUSD advice to completely ignore WBC this morning was sound and should have been followed.


Like this comment
Posted by Marvin
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jan 29, 2010 at 1:59 pm

"It should be easy to identify those from the Gunn event who later appear at Stanford and very probably the identity of whoever committed the vandalism."

I am sure you will be shocked Sharon when the perp turns out to be one of the WBC people (much to your disappointment). The fact that everything was videoed and the same people may have been at both locations does not mean that they did anything wrong. Maybe you should have gotten video of the WBC van then you could have found the perp.
the question also is should the Stanford police waste valuable resources trying to identify hundreds of people in a variety of videos.That is unless you feel that the WBC people are being treated unfairly.

"Outside activists will use and manipulate our kids to further their own agendas, if thing had become violent it is our kids who would have been damaged."
You made a similar statement on another thread and again I call on you to identify which outside activists were present today and were manipulating our kids? If you are going to make blanket accusations, then please provide some proof. Based on your past posting history on this forum, I wonder were you really stand vis a vis the WBC


Like this comment
Posted by Andy
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Jan 29, 2010 at 2:21 pm

"Outside activists will use and manipulate our kids to further their own agendas, if thing had become violent it is our kids who would have been damaged."

Sharon, I believe that the students learned a valuable lesson in community activism, and bolstered their own self-worth by standing up to these demons.


Like this comment
Posted by michael james
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 29, 2010 at 2:31 pm

the tires actually deflated themselves!!
clearly a sign from god for them to stop the hatred


Like this comment
Posted by a student
a resident of Gunn High School
on Jan 29, 2010 at 4:08 pm

I think they might have slashed their own tires.


Like this comment
Posted by just kidding
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Jan 29, 2010 at 5:20 pm

I think the WBC wants a new van, it's aging and it's time for a new one. This is how they do it.


Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 29, 2010 at 5:32 pm

WBC are crazy but they are not stupid.

Many members are lawyers and they have their own law firm,
Phelps made his fame and fortune in the Civil Rights Movement, campaigned for Al Gore and was invited to Bill Clintons Inauguration ceremony.

What WBC does is to provoke for financial gain by filling lawsuits against cities, individuals-- whoever they can get--they want a reaction, and free publicity and money-- today they got 2 out of 3.

They would not slash their own tires, they are too well trained in the law.

They choose their provocation depending upon the community, we were very lucky that the incident of vandalism did not occur at Gunn.

The people who did the vandalism, according to S U campus police, came from the Gunn counter demonstration.

The vast majority of students at Gunn are minors, this mornings counter protest was a very risky thing, we should all have folowed the PAUSD advice to ignore WBC completely.


Like this comment
Posted by NotTooDead
a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Jan 29, 2010 at 6:17 pm

I wouldn't put it pass them to slash their own tires - they are THAT insane. I mean, they say God Hates Lady Gaga; they even made a parody of her Poker Face - batshi*craziness, right there:

Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 29, 2010 at 6:26 pm

Read the article, folks! It says WBC parked the van a block from their protest site. It was a rental van, not their own run down vehicle. Sharon, would they have been able to videotape the van and the protest? Yes, if they had protestors back at the van w/a video camera. If not, it's not likely that the tire slashers were caught on camera.

These slugs deserve to get the tires slashed, but the rental company doesn't.

Too bad they weren't ignored all around - they looooove the controversy. Funny, they don't show up at any of the black EPA churches. Too bad...that woulda been fun!


Like this comment
Posted by Kellin
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 29, 2010 at 7:13 pm

"These slugs deserve to get the tires slashed"

That is exactly why the First Ammendment is such a tough thing. It is hell to listen to those who seem so vile to your own views. It may surprise some of you, but the ACLU would side with the Kansas hate mongers.

Next time you claim that you support free speech, remember this episode. Then look in the mirror.


Like this comment
Posted by Helen
a resident of Stanford
on Jan 29, 2010 at 8:03 pm

I don't think WBC won anything. Gunn and Stanford demonstrated a wealth of solidarity. While WBC spread hate all morning, both communities came out in huge numbers, bearing love and tolerance. They may have gained publicity, but we gained so much more.

As mentioned by many of you, one of the options in reaction to WBC was to simply ignore them. After all, it's 8AM on a Friday... How many college students are actually up at that time? But the Stanford community knew that people would inevitably show up and someone could have gotten into legal trouble with WBC. As most of you already know, they're VERY GOOD at suing people who violate their free speech rights. So another option was to spread the word that WBC would be coming and to organize a peaceful protest. I believe that the latter was the best choice and I couldn't be more proud of my peers.

MLK Jr. once said, "A time comes when silence is betrayal." Bring it on, WBC.


Like this comment
Posted by Los Gatos Jim
a resident of another community
on Jan 29, 2010 at 8:54 pm

I was front and center at the counter-protest. It brought people together from as far away as Ashland Oregon and all across the South Bay and Peninsula but what I really saw was a large percentage of the Gunn staff and faculty along with 150 or more Gunn students consolidating, coming together and celebrating their diversity and their commitment to supporting gay men and women in their school and community. It was inspiring.

The gathering together and chanting positive phrases and singing peace songs and positive songs was much more important and powerful than our guest catalysts. The WBC was insignificant and were effectively ignored by a very large group of people. They were actively ignored, right in their faces. It was beautiful.

Nobody tried to prevent anyone's free speech rights. The police were helpful to both sides and provided safe escort to both sides and several children on their way to other schools who walked by the WBC members who wisely ignored the children.

This was a victory for free speech, for following the rules in a civil society, and for celebrating our diversity.

My sign read God is Love. I don't remember their signs.
-Jim


Like this comment
Posted by Ano Nymous
a resident of another community
on Jan 29, 2010 at 10:45 pm

So why exactly would one not define as a "hate group" whomever did actually slash the tires? No matter who did it?


Like this comment
Posted by Ano Nymous
a resident of another community
on Jan 29, 2010 at 10:48 pm

But would the ACLU call its clients "hate mongers?" Kind of defeats the purpose, doesn't it?

"It may surprise some of you, but the ACLU would side with the Kansas hate mongers."


Like this comment
Posted by Ano Nymous
a resident of another community
on Jan 29, 2010 at 10:49 pm

So exactly how does anyone find out in advance that this stuff is going to happen? Some sort of secret liberal network? Hey, I would have brought a video camera, and that would have settled it!


Like this comment
Posted by Ano Nymous
a resident of another community
on Jan 29, 2010 at 10:54 pm

Wow, I hope that doesn't get you arrested these days! Or your tires slashed...

"the church also...anti-government rhetoric."

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Like this comment
Posted by godlovesugly
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jan 30, 2010 at 4:40 am

While I agree that ignoring the WBC would probably have been the safest solution, I think we should be proud that the young people in our community are confident and caring enough to stand up to the hate group, knowing that the WBC looks for fights in order to sue people and get publicity. I personally don't care if their van got the tires slashed, the WBC knew that there would be a much larger group of counter-demonstrators, and the fact that they refused security makes me think of two possible motives... A, the WBC slashed their own tires in order to make it look like the counter-protesters threw the first stone, or B, they refused security so that it would be easier for a counter-protester to vandalize their van.

Either way, what I find absolutely appalling is that this WBC hate group that claims to be "doing gods work" went after the Gunn students because of their acceptance of others and because of the recent suicides. What I don't understand is how the WBC hasn't been sued to hell and back already. I respect peoples right to free speech, but when it causes physical or emotional trauma, then I think there should be some exceptions. For example, I believe that Verbally harassing minors (Gunn students) about their sexual orientation or preference should be considered sexual harassment (depending on the severity of the harassment).

High school is already a rough period for teens, and although I personally am not homosexual I have many good friends who are and have seen how much more stressful it is to deal with. In addition to that, Gunn teens have had to come to terms with the recent deaths of their classmates. The WBC chose Gunn because of how accepting they are of homosexuals, the handicapped, etc. and because of the recent deaths.

That is just way below the belt, and I'm glad I slept in Friday morning because otherwise I would have probably beat those idiots over the head with a burning cross. I wonder what they would do if a bunch of counter-protesters dressed up as KKK members (I'm sure WBC and KKK have weekend BBQs all the time to discuss which groups of people they hate the most), came in and stood with them, blocking their stupid signs, and just generally being loud so as to drown out the screeching WBC harpies(a mythological creature that taunts and harasses someone by following them everywhere and screeching in their ears to drive them insane).Who do these WBC idiots think they are telling people what god wants and doesn't want....."embrace how I live, god loves ugly"


Like this comment
Posted by Perspective
a resident of Meadow Park
on Jan 30, 2010 at 7:34 am

well...God, not god, if you are interested in trying to speak the vernacular of the faithful. For some of us the reference to our God is too holy for just capitalizing the reference to convey the meaning, so we put G-d. But never ever does god refer to the God you are trying to invoke. Just FYI.

Sort of like if someone wrote obama,, intended as a putdown by little letter, or bush. The insult would be clear.

And yes, God created and loves each and every one of us in His/Her image. And each and every one of us has choices on how to live. As we grow, we can choose to walk closer to God, as interpreted to us through thousands of years of spiritual/mystical/societal wisdom from the Torah through to what some of us call the New Testament.

From this collected wisdom of the ages comes a clue of how we can walk toward God and God's love, helping to build a more loving self and world, fighting against that which tries to rip us away from God, or we can walk away from God and God's love, which saddens us all.

Obviously there are differnt paths of belief about how to make choices that will contribute more love toward yourself and the world in the long run, but I have found most paths have the same basic rules, with different flavors of how to remember God "IS" throughout your daily life.

All that to say, yes..there are thousands of years of collected wisdom that CAN tell us what God wants in order for us to be happy, but sifting through the parts that God wants sometimes gets mixed up into our own personal desires, which are hard to reconcile. That is where good guidance comes into play.

Find a church or synagogue or mosque that has the kind of leadership/lifestyle/guidance that you believe you can stick with for a number of years to help you through life's many challenges, and you will wake up one day in your 70s and look back on your life without regrets for your own choices.

And yes, God loves the ugly..in my experience God loves the ugly and the lame more than anyone else!



Like this comment
Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 30, 2010 at 2:48 pm

Why do I think that investigating a tire slashing will be a bottom priority for the cops? They'll take a police report for the rental company's insurance purposes and that will be it.

We have a budget crisis, folks, other things matter more.

Though the Phelps folks got hit by the Stanford Band first thing in the morning--now, that could be pretty brutal.


Like this comment
Posted by Kellin
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 30, 2010 at 3:35 pm

"Why do I think that investigating a tire slashing will be a bottom priority for the cops?"

That statement is like the deep south bigots confidently proclaiming that the cops will not investigate a lynching. The ACLU, of which I am a proud member, defended neo-nazis in Skokie, Illinois. Very tough case, but that is what the ACLU takes on. Free speech is *not* an easy thing. That is why it is always being challenged.

The slashed tires whould be a *top* priority of local police, becasue it *supports* free speech, thus the ability of gay students and supporters to express their views, too.

I find it rather amazing that liberal, sophisticated Palo Alto/Stanford can fall into the trap of 'our way or the highway'.


Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 30, 2010 at 4:29 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Freedom of speech except??? I am disappointed, not the first time, in my community. Disappointed they played the WBC game, and then disappointed further by the undisguised admiration of a criminal act against them that is akin to suggesting that rape victims brought it on themselves. As for the ACLU, I will rejoin when they come out against compulsory union membership and assaults against the Second Amendment.


Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 30, 2010 at 11:15 pm



The fact that some in Palo Alto try to justify criminal vandalism is revealing.

The right to free speech is the right to free speech, however we may disagree with the opinions expressed.

There is, however, no right to vandalism and violence.

The Stanford campus police said they believe some people from the Gunn counter protest committed the vandalism on campus and they are investigating the matter. Good

If this is,in fact, the case then we were very lucky that our kids were not harmed by outside activists at this event.


Like this comment
Posted by Liberalbutobjective
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 31, 2010 at 7:46 am

Actually I'm seeing a bit of "hate" in my community's response to these people. Even calling a group a "hate group" is somewhat hateful, don't you think? Instead of counter-protesting, why didn't someone suggest a sit-down discussion with representatives of the group? They might have rejected the offer, but it would have been the adult thing for us to do. Instead we have Gunn teachers out there protesting. Ah yes, it feels good to have an enemy. Without it we cannot come together and sing songs of peace.


Like this comment
Posted by Marvin
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jan 31, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Walter--"then disappointed further by the undisguised admiration of a criminal act against them that is akin to suggesting that rape victims brought it on themselves"
What is the proof that the criminal act was against them and not by them--in order to garner sympathy. I think we should wait until the police come back with a perp.

Sharon:
"The fact that some in Palo Alto try to justify criminal vandalism is revealing."
Sharon, in every city, town and county you will find people that will justify a criminal act--it is not revealing about Palo Alto at all--it is just human nature. As I have stated previously, we do not have any proof that it was criminal vandalism by anyone--I think it was the WBC that did it.

"The right to free speech is the right to free speech, however we may disagree with the opinions expressed."
Love how you change your arguments to suit your purposes


"The Stanford campus police said they believe some people from the Gunn counter protest committed the vandalism on campus and they are investigating the matter. Good"

Sorry , Sharon, you are playing fast and loose with the facts.
According to the Mercury News: "Stanford police are investigating, but do not have any suspects or witnesses, she added."
Web Link


"If this is,in fact, the case then we were very lucky that our kids were not harmed by outside activists at this event."
Please, Sharon, stick to the facts and not your imagination driven rhetoric.
You seem to hate the fact that something positive has come out of the WBC visit.
based on your comments here and your previous postings on this forum (which I have gone over after reading other's comments regarding them) I really have to wonderhow much you actually disagree with the Phelps family


Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 31, 2010 at 1:23 pm



Re statements by S U Campus Police on the matter on Friday--Web Link

" Lapin said campus police believe a group of counter-protesters from the morning protest at Gunn High School may have followed the church members to Stanford and committed the vandalism.
No arrests have been made in connection with the incident."

Re-- how this event should have been handled by Gunn

"Nina Grotch with the Anti-Defamation League says along with anti-gay and anti-Semitic rhetoric, the church also espouses anti-black and anti-government rhetoric.

The Anti-Defamation League has coordinated with various sites where Westboro members planned to show up this week to provide information about the church and its tactics.

Grotch said the Anti-Defamation League encourages people to not engage with the church members, because "they're just there to provoke."


The vast majority of students at Gunn are minors, Fridays counter protest was a very risky thing, we should all have followed the PAUSD advice to ignore WBC completely.



WBC got the reaction and publicity they wanted, they won.

Because of this they will no doubt be on us like a plague.


Like this comment
Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 31, 2010 at 1:38 pm

Very risky? Obviously not. Nothing happened.

Cops don't spend a lot of time investigating tire slashings--they've got more important things to do. As long as there's a report for insurance purposes that will be that.

Not really that different from the police attitude toward the egg wars. This stuff is petty to them.


Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 31, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

I have consistently opposed those who, under the guise of freedom of speech, disrupt traffic and disturb the peace. The proper response to speech we don't agree with is measured response to that speech, not an attempt to drown out speech. You have the freedom to speak, I have the freedom to not listen and to not be impeded in my own business. So do you.


Like this comment
Posted by echidna
a resident of another community
on Jan 31, 2010 at 5:59 pm

"Even calling a group a "hate group" is somewhat hateful, don't you think?"

Short answer: No.

Here's the wikipedia definition of hate group "A hate group is an organized group or movement that advocates hate, hostility, or violence towards members of a race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation or other designated sector of society."

What ever definition you use, how is WBC *not* a hate group?

Disliking, and protesting, the presence of a hate group is not hateful in itself. Giving respect to a hate group has never been a good idea, historically speaking.


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2010 at 6:06 pm

Interestingly, when my kids were young I continually told them that the opposite of love is not hate, but indifference. Love and hate are very closely connected emotions causing the same type of reactions. Indifference is the opposite of both.

It may be useful in this discussion.


Like this comment
Posted by Marvin
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jan 31, 2010 at 6:20 pm

Sorry, Sharon, my link with info about the slashings is newer than yours. bottom line you have a comment from a spokesperson quoting the police--I have an actual police quotes. And as mine stated, the police have no witnesses and no suspects. there will be no use of videos and face recognition software to try to track people who came to Stanford from Gunn. i am sure the police have already closed the case.

Regarding your comments on how this matter should have been handled by Gunn--Gunn made a recommendation, the ADL is entitled to their opinion (though I find it amusing considering your past posting history that you now use the ADL to further your arguments)--what happened at Gunn was an exercise in free speech.
Insteed of harping on your imaginary negatives, I think you should be happy with the way this was turned into a positive event for Dunn students.

"WBC got the reaction and publicity they wanted, they won."
They had the publicity well before the facts. Sorry that you see the solidarity displayed by the Gunn students and their important civics lesson that they learned as a loss. Not sure what WBC won, but vermin like them need to be shown that they are a hateful group and the Gunn student sdid it peacefully. It is sad that you are upset with that.

"Because of this they will no doubt be on us like a plague."
Really,, how will they be on us like a plague? your imagination is running wild again.


Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 31, 2010 at 6:21 pm



It revealing to see that some in Palo Alto support a form of what is know as " Liberal Fascism "Web Link
" Mr. Goldberg makes a stronger case when he accuses the New Left of classic fascist behavior, when its cadre took to the streets and through action discarded its early idealism for what Mr. Goldberg correctly calls "fascist thuggery"

Slashing tires is a very serious act of vandalism.
Suppose the vandals had been interrupted/ scared and only damaged the tires.
The WBC would then have driven the freeway to SF in rush hour, the tires could very well have failed at high speed killing them as well
potentially many others.
They would have been driving fast in the high occupancy lane.

From the Stanford Police we have statements that outside, violent activists were probably at the Gunn counter protest putting our children at potential risk. Before they moved to Stanford to commit vandalism.

PAUSD did not inform Gunn parents that there was to be a teacher sponsored counter protest.To the contrary, they assured parents that the WBC would be ignored.

Gunn parents were not asked by these teachers to provide written informed consent for their minor children to attend this potentially dangerous counter demonstration.
The teachers involved in this matter should be disciplined and informed about proper procedure.

We were very, very luck that our children were not hurt, there were clearly outside activists at this event, just look at the videos !


Like this comment
Posted by Marvin
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jan 31, 2010 at 6:38 pm

"It revealing to see that some in Palo Alto support a form of what is know as " Liberal Fascism "Web Link"

What was revealed? Why is this an example of liberal facism? Who in Palo Alto supports it? Was the WBC prevented from demonstrating? Go into any community and you will get a cross-section of beliefs--it is human nature. Where do you come up with your wild imagination?

"Slashing tires is a very serious act of vandalism."
Yes and when you have the perp we will see who he is? Why do you assume that a WBC member did not do to gain sympathy?
Anyway, I am sure the Stanford police are not doing anything more about it.

"Suppose the vandals had been interrupted/ scared and only damaged the tires.The WBC would then have driven the freeway to SF in rush hour, the tires could very well have failed at high speed killing them as well potentially many others."
Hmm, do you have any proof that the WBC did not do it? Please conatct the Stanford police with you information.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

"PAUSD did not inform Gunn parents that there was to be a teacher sponsored counter protest.To the contrary, they assured parents that the WBC would be ignored."
How could the PAUSD say that the WBC would be ignored? the streets outside Gunn are public property. This looks like another stretching of the truth, Sharon.

"Gunn parents were not asked by these teachers to provide written informed consent for their minor children to attend this potentially dangerous counter demonstration."
This was not a school organized event--this was a demonstration of first amendment rights by the students.

"The teachers involved in this matter should be disciplined and informed about proper procedure."
What is proper procedure? Teachers are not allowed to exercise their 1st amendment rights on public property?

"We were very, very luck that our children were not hurt, there were clearly outside activists at this event, just look at the videos !"
Who were these activists that you claim where at the event? Which videos are you watching?
[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 31, 2010 at 6:57 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Like this comment
Posted by Roger
a resident of Stanford
on Jan 31, 2010 at 7:11 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Like this comment
Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 31, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Hmmm, awful lot of energy being used by those who opposed any response to the WBC to voice opposition to those who responded to the WBC.

Personally, I don't have a problem with it as I don't have a problem with a calm response to the WBC--but maybe some of you might think about the irony here.


Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 31, 2010 at 9:23 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Like this comment
Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 31, 2010 at 9:30 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 1, 2010 at 7:51 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Since I seem to be the only one bringing novel content here, might as well close comments and save editorial time.


Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 1, 2010 at 6:41 pm

Among the lessons learned from this debacle are

1, PAUSD should adopt a clear policy to protect our minor children from the influence of outside identity politics activist such as those who came to the Gunn counter protest and went on to commit vandalism @ Stanford.

2, PAUSD teachers should not be permitted to promote their identity politics views during school hours and organize counter protests promoting those views without the written, signed informed consent of the minors parents/guardians.

3, PAUSD should follow expert advice and completely ignore street theater provocations by groups like WBC.
By encouraging counter protest teachers not only endanger our minor children but also expose parents and the City of Palo Alto to litigation and financial costs.

4, If minor children attempt to join any counter protest the PAUSD must immediately call the parents/ guardians and restrain the minor children until the parents can come to the school and give written consent

5, The PAUSD should not permit teachers during school hours to promote their identity politics views during school hours without the prior consent of parents whoes minor children will be exposed to such activism.

We do not allow groups like Scientology or the NRA to promote and recruit during school hours, the rules should apply equally to all activist groups.


Like this comment
Posted by I Smell Hypocrites....
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 1, 2010 at 6:57 pm

What I find most interesting are the avowed Christians who scramble to distance themselves from Phelps and his clan of traveling clowns so's to have NO association with his ideals, methods or message.

Still, I have to ask myself how many of those very persons wanting to distance themselves from the vile, fanatic Westboro cult worked hard for the passage of Proposition 8 this last election.

Wringing hands and tearing one's clothes does NOT exonerate them from oppressing a minority in the name of 'values' or God.

The smell of hypocrisy is like offal.


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Posted by Marvin
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Feb 2, 2010 at 6:08 am

Sharon--thanks for a good laugh, your lessons learned list is hysterical. Restrain people from exercising their 1st amendment rights on public property??? What country are you living in--Iran??? Saudi Arabia??
You have made many accuastion about "activists" at the counter protest and have made accusations against the staff and teachers at Gunn--you have yet to provide any proof whatsoever for what you claim.


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