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Monday, March 12, 2012

Iowa Public High School Invites Anti-Gay Preacher/Rocker/Bigot to Perform, Deliver "Anti-Bullying" Message

Posted by on Mon, Mar 12, 2012 at 1:41 PM

Bradlee Dean isn't exactly an unknown quantity. He's a high-profile anti-gay bigot. But someone at a high school in Iowa thought it was a good idea to invite Dean and his band Junkyard Prophets to deliver an anti-bullying message. How'd that play out?

Everyone anticipated the message from Junkyard Prophet, a traveling band based in Minnesota, to be about bullying and making good choices. Instead, junior and senior high students at Dunkerton High School and faculty members said they were assaulted by the group's extreme opinions on homosexuality and images of aborted fetuses. "They told my daughter, the girls, that they were going to have mud on their wedding dresses if they weren't virgins," said Jennifer Littlefield, a parent upset with the band's performance. Her daughter, Alivia Littlefield, 16, is a junior, and called Littlefield after the event. "I couldn't even understand her, she was crying so hard," Littlefield said.

During the breakout session, the young men learned the group's thoughts on the U.S. Constitution and what one Prophet referred to as its "10 commandments." The leader also showed images of musicians who died because of drug overdoses, including Elvis Presley. Members of the group blasted other performers, like Toby Keith, for their improper influence.

The girls, meanwhile, were told to save themselves for their husbands and assume a submissive role in the household. According to witnesses, the leader in that effort also forced the young ladies to chant a manta of sorts about remaining pure. Those who walked out or attempted to confront the speakers were shouted down or ridiculed as disrespectful, according to students. Heidi Manahl, Littlefield's sister, also had a student at the assembly. She, too, was appalled by Junkyard Prophet's message and tactics.
"I've never had so many young women come up to me crying because of what was said to them. They were bullied by these people and forced to sit there and told to be quiet," Manahl said.

Everyone anticipated that the raving bigot would deliver an anti-bullying message? Really? Is that what everyone anticipated?

And who could have predicted—besides anyone who has been paying attention over the last 40 years—that an anti-gay bigot would be hostile to women too? And how wonderful that the gay kids at this school were told that they will die at age 42—an entirely bogus statistic yanked out of an anti-gay bigot's ass—and that they're going to hell. At an anti-bullying assembly. And now the gay kids at this school are being bullied for having the nerve to complain about being bullied at an anti-bullying assembly:

On Thursday, students passed around a petition to ban the group and others like it from performing at the school. According to the WCF Courier, another petition circulated Friday asking the school’s gay community to stop complaining.

School administrators have apologized and promised to learn how to use the Google machine.


Comments (35) RSS

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Toby Keith?
Posted by J.R. on March 12, 2012 at 1:46 PM · Report this
venomlash 2
Chanting a manta?
Posted by venomlash on March 12, 2012 at 1:48 PM · Report this
ryanayr 3
Images of aborted fetuses?! Making fun of dead musicians?! What are they, christian GWAR?
Posted by ryanayr on March 12, 2012 at 1:50 PM · Report this
Allyn 4
Well, on the only bright side I can see: they sure learned about bullying...
Posted by Allyn on March 12, 2012 at 1:59 PM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 5
"mud on their dresses"? Someone on Slog who is getting married SOOOOOOO has to get married in a white dress plastered with mud!!! PLEASE!?!?!?
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on March 12, 2012 at 2:04 PM · Report this
mullets are an abomination against the Lord.
Posted by Cassette tape fan on March 12, 2012 at 2:07 PM · Report this
"Red Solo cup...". You know, Toby Keith is actually a fantastic performer, excellent singer, and clever songwriter, even if you can't relate to his cultural perspective.

But who's the genius who thought this was a good idea, who's so lost fighting his culture war that he/she has lost all perspective? "This is how I'll reach them for Christ! I'm putting God back in the public schools!". Right...

I, for one, had never heard of him.
Posted by floater on March 12, 2012 at 2:22 PM · Report this
It makes me kind of sad that the girls cried because a stupid man said stupid things.
Posted by natalie on March 12, 2012 at 2:28 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 9
They originally wanted Ted Nugent
Posted by Urgutha Forka on March 12, 2012 at 2:31 PM · Report this
fuckers should be charged with child abuse.
Posted by Adrian Ryan on March 12, 2012 at 2:31 PM · Report this
Fortunate 11
So they came to do an anti bullying program and proceeded to bully the girls and gay kids?

What did anyone expect from a bunch of Fundamentalist Christians.

The administration were a bunch of fucking idiots for inviting them and not checking them out first to, you know, make sure they weren't a hate group.
Posted by Fortunate on March 12, 2012 at 2:32 PM · Report this
AmyC 12
@8 - kinda what i was thinking, natalie. though, if i try to place myself as a 16 year old girl in that school, i'd probably cry, too. out of frustration and rage and utter incredulousness as much as sadness.
Posted by AmyC on March 12, 2012 at 2:33 PM · Report this
More, I Say! 13
Holla @12. I want to rage-cry right now.
Posted by More, I Say! on March 12, 2012 at 2:43 PM · Report this
i'd probably cry, too. out of frustration and rage and utter incredulousness as much as sadness.

Remembering the 16 year old girl I was, I think that's probably it. The "mud on your wedding dress" line would have gotten a big laugh at the school I went to, too. Maybe I'm looking at the past with rose coloured glasses, but the way I remember my high school, these guys would have been shouted down - I can't see us putting up with that.
Posted by agony on March 12, 2012 at 2:48 PM · Report this
Fnarf 15
Um, there is no way in hell he got invited there by accident. There's a fan in the school administration somewhere who knew exactly what they were signing up for. This guy is not a random; he's called for the execution of gays and lesbians, and continues to preach that Obama is a Muslim who is at war with the USA (like all Muslims).
Posted by Fnarf on March 12, 2012 at 2:52 PM · Report this
Just one thing from that article:
"After performing, the group separated boys, girls and teachers in the building."

So, a group gets invited in and then wants the girls in a room by themselves with the group without teachers around AND THE SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION AND TEACHERS ALLOW THAT TO HAPPEN?

There needs to be a follow-up article where the kids are interviewed and identify the teachers who were present and who allowed that to happen.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on March 12, 2012 at 3:08 PM · Report this
Allyn 17
@16 I was caught on that tidbit, too.

Is it generally the policy of this school to leave kids with a visitor? My kid’s school did a background check on me with two visits for fingerprinting and I’m still not authorized to be alone with any of the children. Obviously there’s a huge difference between elementary and high school, but shouldn’t a teacher have been overseeing this – and stopping this – when it became clear what was happening?
Posted by Allyn on March 12, 2012 at 3:09 PM · Report this
I was a teenager in the early '90s. Had some clown like this shown up at my (conservative, rural, mostly Republican voting, mostly Christian school district) high school, there would have been blood, and demands of heads on platters, from the (mostly conservative, rural, Republican voting, Christian) parents. It saddens me beyond measure to think that something which would have been seen as unimaginably backwards 20 years ago is happening today.
Posted by Kumquat on March 12, 2012 at 3:18 PM · Report this
@9 Did you read the links? This guy's like a holdover from the Third Reich, a living fossil of Nazi Germany. Ted Nugent swinging down in loincloth like Tarzan and shooting arrows at the teen girls (and he's such an admitted player) has nothing on "Pastor" Dean.
Posted by floater on March 12, 2012 at 3:25 PM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 20
And here I thought it was bad having to sit through assemblies with "Up with People"
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on March 12, 2012 at 3:26 PM · Report this
ryanayr 21
@15 - That's probably true. Michelle Bachman got in hot water over her ties to this douche (…). Dean also pissed off half the state of Minnesota over a terrible prayer given to their House of Representatives last year (…) They're not exactly low visibility.
Posted by ryanayr on March 12, 2012 at 3:30 PM · Report this
There is no way a religious hate group like that was appropriate for a school setting. And yes, at 16, I was caught by that also. No way the teachers should ever have even been asked to leave the kids alone with anyone in this group. The principal should have had a complete agenda on what was being planned, in advance. If he had an agenda, he could have stopped it ahead of time. He should have required that they give him the content of the intended message. There are so many ways this was totally inappropriate it is making my head explode.

They need to find out who was behind authorizing these douchebags and fire that person. Then hire that person back just for the satisfaction of firing them AGAIN.
Posted by SeattleKim on March 12, 2012 at 3:30 PM · Report this
That's a good one. Almost as good as the Suquamish/Port Madison Tribe inviting Ted Nugent to play at their casino.
Posted by scandalmanager on March 12, 2012 at 3:34 PM · Report this
Ophian 24
Someone[s] on the school faculty needs to face some real consequences for this fuck up.
Posted by Ophian on March 12, 2012 at 3:35 PM · Report this
balderdash 25
Of course they weren't actually expecting an anti-bullying message, any more than creationists who try to foist off their nonsense in public schools by "teaching the scientific controversy" are actually expecting science or Deepak Chopra actually thinks he's a theoretical physicist. They were just mouthing popular buzzwords to give their real, ass-backwards message false legitimacy. At some point in the decision chain in this affair, someone who knew damn well what they would get suggested this to someone else who would make it happen. That someone is an asshole.
Posted by balderdash on March 12, 2012 at 3:49 PM · Report this
Simone 26
That superintendent should definitely be held accountable especially for his remarks that the bigoted group had "a very strong anti-violence, anti-drug, anti-alcohol" message." and for "Stanton spoke to the student body again at day's end, emphasizing the positive aspects of the group's message."

Granted he covered himself in saying that their message went against school policy. But I still think he and those responsible for arranging the assembly and booking the bigoted performers should be held accountable.
Posted by Simone on March 12, 2012 at 4:36 PM · Report this
If students were separated from faculty members (at administrators' direction, I assume) after the assembly, then administrators would legally have to be present in the breakout sessions.

The school's administration is screwed either way. If administrators were present while students were demeaned and given religious indoctrination then they can be sued. If absent, then they can also be sued.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next couple of weeks.
Posted by Approaching 40 in LA on March 12, 2012 at 5:42 PM · Report this
This happened in a public school? Even in a small town someone should have had a clue. Think of the mess to clean up. Lot of dammage. No doubt this part of never heard that Bush couldn't serve a 3rd term. Was the assembly a "no child left behind" concert?. Nice. Bully the students and ignore the constutiional requirement of separation of church and state. Wait till the parents sue the school district. And oh yeah good move letting them lead a discussion/proselytize on public property.
Posted by ndattn on March 12, 2012 at 5:49 PM · Report this
tomsj 29
What's missing from this description was something I saw in an article yesterday: there were apparently three breakout sessions, one for boys, one for girls, and one for teachers. In other words, this group of bigots was allowed UNSUPERVISED access to these kids to say any damned thing they pleased. It doesn't really sound to me like an apology from the administrators is enough.
Posted by tomsj on March 12, 2012 at 7:20 PM · Report this
@29: If the teachers were not there then an administrator would have to be present. It didn't say if that was the case, but imagine if no administrator was present and students were not allowed to leave...false imprisonment charges. If an administrator was present...forced religious indoctrination in a public school. Either criminal charges filed or civil charges filed.
Posted by Approaching 40 in LA on March 12, 2012 at 8:42 PM · Report this
These guys are performers. The appropriate response is to boo them and throw tomatoes. Rotten ones.

These down-low cocksuckers deserve absolutely *nothing* less.
Posted by gromm on March 12, 2012 at 10:43 PM · Report this
Isn't this like inviting the Grand Wizard of the KKK to give a speech about racial harmony and equal rights?
Posted by TechBear on March 13, 2012 at 6:40 AM · Report this
I can't believe how loudly I would have to say "DUH!" to this school district. Stanton is obviously not outraged enough. Can one of these parents please lead a law suit against the school district for attempting to establish a religion? Then people will ask for the jobs of the superintendent, administrators, school board, and do-nothing teachers.
Posted by Daisy_Steiner on March 13, 2012 at 9:56 AM · Report this
debug 34
Add this to the reasons why we decided to pull our kids out and homeschool. American public schools are an unfunny joke.
Posted by debug on March 13, 2012 at 12:06 PM · Report this
They do this because they were liberals ... the "fight them with sunflowers" variety, who think bin Laden and Stalin might have been converted with a hug and a listening ear, who think we should completely dismantle the military (as opposed to reduction) and replace it with a Department of Rainbows, who vote for Paul Tsongas, Dennis Kucinich, and Ralph Nader.

Of course, I'm one of them, too ... but, I often wonder how our side might be winning these national conversations if we weren't so busy huffing, nuancing, and trying to "meet in the middle" with our ideological enemies (who want us all to die and go away so they can populate the earth for King Baby Jesus).
Posted by Phantom on March 13, 2012 at 8:55 PM · Report this

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