Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Will Westboro Baptist Church Protest Violate Florida's Anti-Bullying Law?

Do these protests fall under the definition of HB 669?

Hot off their legal victory, the Westboro Baptist Christian cult has decided to go on and continue exercising their right to hate, but one location in their upcoming schedule stood out from the rest, and that is because it is a school, and not only any school, but my school.

That’s right. These vile religious extremists are protesting my old stomping grounds, Dr. Phillips High School, in Orlando, Florida on April 29.

Why are these crazies picketing a school of all places?

According to their website, it is to remind America that “these high school students act like hellbound beasts because they have been raised to believe God is a liar.” They even go on to call the students, teachers, the parents, and their preachers “pathetic.”

While they may have won their right to spew hatred from the sidelines of funerals, it is my belief that these freaks are violating Florida’s anti-bullying laws.

HB 669, also known as the “Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up for All Students Act,” prohibits bullying and harassment “of any student or school employee of a public K-12 educational institution.”
Bullying may involve teasing, social exclusion, intimidation, or public humiliation.

Harassment means any threatening, insulting, or dehumanizing gesture, including written, verbal, or physical conduct directed against a student or school employee that places a student or school employee in reasonable fear of harm, as well as substantially disrupting the orderly operation of a school.

If you ask me, having a extremist Christian church chant derogatory terms directed towards students while they head to school would constitute as bullying and harassment, per the statutory definition, and should this church show up ready to protest, they should be arrested for directing their hate towards America’s youth, violating Florida law in the process.

Let’s see if Orlando’s elected officials will do anything to protect our students from this cult. Contact them today! 

Email links for the following:

U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster 

State Rep. Eric Eisnaugle 

Sen. Marco Rubio

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