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.