Archive for Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Eudora answers protest with ‘No Hate’

After learning of a protest of the high school's graduation this weekend, students decided to put a positive spin on it.

May 19, 2010


— Finding creative solutions to difficult problems is the art of teaching.

Teachers in the Eudora school district have recently gotten the opportunity to share this lesson with their students.

Teachers in the Eudora school district have organized a “No Hate” campaign to raise money for Lawrence’s Headquarters Counseling Center.

Teachers in the Eudora school district have organized a “No Hate” campaign to raise money for Lawrence’s Headquarters Counseling Center.

When it was learned that the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka would be picketing the Eudora High School graduation Saturday, the district organized a “No Hate” campaign. The money donated in protest of the anti-homosexual group led by Fred Phelps will have a positive outcome.

“Eudora’s perfect because word gets around fast,” said Cheyenne Bueno, a Eudora High School junior. “It’s a really great way to focus on everything positive and give funds to a positive cause instead of focusing our negative energy toward a negative cause.”

Westboro Baptist Church, known best for protesting funerals of military veterans, also targets high school graduations across the country. Lawrence High School and Free State High School are also on the group’s calendar for protests Sunday.

Eudora teachers began a Facebook page soliciting donations for Lawrence’s Headquarters Counseling Center, 211 E. Eighth St., and the movement has taken off. In just two days, the campaign has raised more than $700.

“We chose Headquarters, which is a counseling facility out of Lawrence … that gives the chance for students and teenagers to get counseling in all aspects of life,” said Amy Gingrich, who is an art teacher in Eudora.

The school’s goal is to raise $1,000 by graduation.


Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years ago

The things I would like to say about phelps would get me banned so I will just stick me tounge out.

imaginefreedom 8 years ago

I totally agree with an anti-hate demonstration, but how does donating money to a counseling service do that? I have been to so many events that Phelps group has protested in the last few years , including my youngest child"s high school graduation from Lawrence High. Also Bill Cosby at KU, Willie Nelson in Topeka, anything to do with women (NOW conference in Wichita for one), and or Democratics. If you even speak to any of old Fred's followers you can be arrested according to the cops at these events. Where is our freedom of speech? Apparently speech is a one sided freedom.

walkthehawk 8 years ago

among other reasons, because said counseling center provides a free, immediate, and safe way for GLBT teens (and everyone else) to talk to a nonjudgmental person who's really listening, connect with local resources, etc. In some of the smaller towns around here--and sadly, in most of the larger communities as well--there aren't a lot of resources or supports for kids dealing with very weighty issues. Brava, EHS, for a creative approach to a hate-full problem.

Liberty275 8 years ago

Maybe Fred Phelps can come protest the animal shelter so they can get more money.

Hey Fred, dogs and cats are laying together at the Lawrence Animal Shelter. It is an abomination before god and it is your duty to spread the word of god concerning abominations.

christy kennedy 8 years ago

"I totally agree with an anti-hate demonstration, but how does donating money to a counseling service do that?"

Often donations countering a Phelps protest go to a local LGBT organization since the Phelpses have for so long been obsessed with hating and calling everybody "fags'. But they seem to hate everyone equally and like to kick folks when they're down (protesting at funerals), and Headquarters helps everyone, especially when they're down, so it seems a very fitting choice.

Those crazy Phelpses do way more good than they will ever know. The anger we initially felt towards them has evolved in recent years into more and more of a productive and fun backlash. They've always gotten people talking and thinking — people who might not have done so otherwise. And anybody who still harbors prejudice or judgmental thoughts has a clear choice: a few hateful lunatics on one side of the street, and decent, kind people everywhere else, supporting each other despite their differences.

I think people everywhere have learned to say to the Phelps family, "Bring it!"

christy kennedy 8 years ago

Liberty275, Great idea. Send a fax: The puppies are all gay!!!

Liberty275 8 years ago

Fred would protest two of my male dogs, especially the one that tries to have his way with the other. Look Auntie, they're fighting!

Paul R Getto 8 years ago

Autie: Don't ask; there are no good answers. Raising money to help others is a good way to counter the cult. As much as possible, they should be ignored.

Bobo Fleming 8 years ago

he pickets high school graduations because picketing funerals aren't getting him press time anymore. Its all about getting on TV and when one gig doesnt work then he's off to the next thing. The best thing that could be done about Phelps would be for nobody to cover him in the press. But that won't be done so we will have him around trying to get on TV. Think about the other venues possible. Hospitals? Doctors offices? How about day care centers. The list is endless of the things that Phelps can picket to get a little attention.

christy kennedy 8 years ago

The Phelps family was always outside the Topeka Performing Arts Center every time we ever went there. We could never figure it out. They were outside the Lied Center when the Blind Boys of Alabama were inside singing gospel songs. Makes no sense except to Fred and he's insane.

missmia 8 years ago

I heard Fred Phelps himself is rumored to be dead since he himself hasn't been seen at any of the protests in recent years. Anyone know anything about that?

texburgh 8 years ago

Here's what chaps me...Nobody cared that we have to walk our children into high school graduation ceremonies or performances at the Lied Center or TPAC; nobody cares that people have to walk their families past them just to get into a mainstream church service on a Sunday; nobody cares when they picket in front of Topeka High School... but let them picket a service member's funeral and we have to have legislation to stop them.

I, like most Kansans, can't wait for the day when Fred dies and I can take comfort knowing that he will rot and burn in hell, but why is it that this was free speech when it was aimed at church-goers, arts aficionados, and school kids but must be reigned in now that it is aimed at service members?

Either it is hate speech that should be stopped or it is offensive free speech that should be countered.

Shardwurm 8 years ago

Were you going to any of those locations to grieve the loss of someone killed in the line of duty? If not, there's at least one significant difference.

texburgh 8 years ago

Sorry, Shardwurm, I disagree. As bad as it is during a funeral, what makes it okay for me to have to shield my children from it on what might be a joyous occasion - going to church, a wedding, a graduation, a play or symphony concert? Would it be okay if I were grieving the loss of someone who fought for the rights of homosexuals? Where was legislative action when they picketed Matthew Shepherd's funeral? Did his family not grieve?

Liberty275 8 years ago

and burn in hell

At least you and phelps have some common ground to work from.

hate speech that should be stopped

That's the Canadian way, eh?

free speech that should be countered

Fred will win every time. He's better at it than you are.

Beth Bird 8 years ago

He has been picketing graduations for years....and weddings......I was at a wedding where TLC was filming for a Wedding Story...the best man was gay so they picketed the wedding...It's sad - What a way to remember special milestones.

armywife 8 years ago

Headquarters offers free services but it still takes money to pay the staff, some of which work for free, and keep the upkeep on the property, utilities and training material for the volunteers. Contact the Eudora High School for more information about the fund raiser, it's a cool idea and it will help this center a great deal. I love the Eudora School District and the faculty is outstanding GREAT JOB EUDORA SCHOOLS!!!!!!

nelly1910 8 years ago

This is all nice and wonderful but what they are not saying is that a group of middle school kids and a few of their High School friends started the facebook page and the campaign against Fred and his group. They also didn't say that these kids feel very strong about all of what is happening to the High School graduation. I believe that trying to make it a better way to deal with this person and his followers is a great way to teach our children that there are other ways to handle a difficult situation. My problem here is that the teachers are taking credit for something that Middle School kids started by wanting to counter protest the group and have been being told that is not what needs to happen at Eudora. The least the LJWorld could have done was get the correct information about how this started and let the kids take credit for what they started that the teachers just took further. We hear all the time about the bad things that kids do so this was a good thing and the Eudora High Teachers took it away from them. So we wonder why kids do bad things. Eudora is a small town so my question is how did Fred find out that they have a student that is gay and graduating? That is where would start.

NoHateHere 8 years ago

It didn't start with the Middle Schoolers. It started with a Military kid that is graduating this year just messing around on the internet and stumbled upon Phelps' website and his picket schedule. News spreads fast in Eudora, so it didn't take long before the entire town knew about the picket plan at our graduation. But yes, I do agree that the student body's efforts to do something about this atrocity should have been more recognized. It was the student's idea to start the "No Hate" campaign. The campaign was all started with a student's idea for the group on facebook "Don't Let Fred Phelps ruin Eudora High's Graduation!!!", and grew from there. Over 2k was raised in the past three days for the campaign, and over 750 members on each group on facebook. I am VERY proud to be a student at Eudora High this year. No "anti-gay hatewhore" can ruin this graduation with the amount of heart each student, parent, teacher, or faculty has for this year's seniors. -NoHateHere

sk_in_ks 8 years ago

Liberty Press recently interviewed one of Fred Phelps' estranged sons, Nate Phelps. The story and the timeline are both worth reading (the second link, the timeline, is particularly disturbing): and

mr_right_wing 8 years ago

I am no supporter of the homosexual lifestyle; the Bible clearly speaks out against it (esp. in the New Testament) but I absolutely positively do not hate (or fear) one single gay person (hate the sin, love the sinner-which we all are, sinners that is.)

I can't however use the word "love" and Fred Phelps together. This idiot is a horrible black mark on Christianity...although I'm guessing he does little to no preaching on Christ. That's gotta get old each week at Westburo Baptist Church: hate the gays, hate the gays, hate the gays...hate America, hate America, hate America. Makes my stomach queasy right now. Incidentally, I'm a conservative fundimentalist and I still feel this strongly!

Calliope877 8 years ago

I think it'd be funny if people started requesting WBC's presence at different events just so they can make money off the WBC. Maybe asking them to protest the Humane Society isn't such a bad idea!

puddleglum 8 years ago

wonder why Shewmon hasn't come out with his support for phelps yet....

Brent Garner 8 years ago

Am still waiting for a Phelps' person to show me where in the Bible it says that God laughs when a sinner dies. Not holding my breath on it. But still waiting.

3crookedhearts 8 years ago

Mr. Right Wing, I think you're misreading that passage in Romans. Paul isn't condeming homosexuals. Anyway, doesn't he, in the next chapter and verse, tell you not to be judgemental of others? I don't think you can have it both ways, bro.

jhokfan 8 years ago

I’ll bet my house Fred is gay. More often than not the ones who are the most vocal about being anti gay are usually gay themselves.

Given the percentage of members who share the same last name I’ll also bet some incest is taking place in the Phelps household. How else can you explain his insane ideology.

lainey 8 years ago

I recently found a documentary at the library about the Phelps family-I think it was Fallen from Grace. In it, his son says everyone is waiting for Fred to die but that they will carry on louder and stronger then ever. It was especially disheartening to hear the grandkids talk and realize they have no idea what they are saying but you could certainly pick up on the hate they have been taught. So sad!

Liberty275 8 years ago

Do you know that to be a fact or are you accusing him of having latent homosexual tendencies just to belittle him? If you have evidence that he indeed has a predilection for men, you should make the evidence public. This could be effective ammunition to use against him because it would paint him as a hypocrite in front of his followers.

Polly_Gomer 7 years, 12 months ago

And his use of religion to spread hate doesn't already paint him as a hypocrite?

concernedeudoravoter 8 years ago

As of the end of school today, the total amount of money raised for Headquarters was over $2,400.

denak 8 years ago

Are there no graduations in Topeka???? Why is he coming here?

TopJayhawk 8 years ago

I say it again. It is all about the money. He tries to goad people into trying to limit his first amendment rights. Then he collects. The best thing to do is just ignore him.

jhokfan 8 years ago


Wouldn't that require a civil lawsuit? Hard to believe he could find 12 jurors who would side with him.

thinkerfromtopeka 8 years ago

Wouldn't it be great if Congress would pass the "Phelps Marriage for Everyone" Law?

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