This Wednesday, Minnesota's 27th strongest high school, according to US News and World Report, will be picketed by protesters from the Westboro Baptist Church.

Located in a north west suburb of the Twin Cities, Maple Grove Senior High School boasts over 1,600 students and above average student performance. However, not all headlines for the school have been so good.  On November 14th, 2016 I reported on an incident where racist graffiti was found in a bathroom.  Many of the students decided to combat hate with love.  On Wednesday, June 7th, the controversial group, Westboro Baptist Church plans on picketing Maple Grove Senior High.   They released a press release that states in part:

Today's flavor is transgender sin and shame, imagining that they can break the bands of God's will in the most fundamental way possible - changing the gender your Creator made you. What folly!

There's obvious concern here because as anyone that knows about Westboro Baptist Church and have witnessed their picketing, they project hate filled messages and say really awful things. A few years ago, they picketed in front of Rochester's Mayo Clinic. I organized a group of people to do random acts of kindness and spread love on the opposite side of the street they were on. I was mortified at the hateful messages they were yelling out and had on their signs but I was heartened by all the people that tried to spread kindness and love to negate what Westboro was trying to do.

The Principal of Fernbrook Elementary, a school right across from the Maple Grove Senior High School, sent this note out to families and students in preparation for the picket this Wednesday:

We understand that a small group from Westboro Baptist Church, based in Kansas, will picket three locations in Maple Grove (two medical clinics and Maple Grove Senior High) this Wednesday. During these demonstrations, members typically stand on public sidewalks holding signage and shouting at passersby.

District leaders have collaborated with the Maple Grove Police Department and representatives of the other local affected organizations on a response plan that aims to minimize any attention to the demonstrators while ensuring smooth operations at each affected site.

You can help ensure that the demonstrators come and go without receiving the publicity they seek. I am encouraging all Fernbrook families to refrain from engaging with the protestors in any way, including on social media.

:----:--.We are committed to ensuring that all students have a successful end to the school year. You can help us achieve that goal by denying the demonstrators the spotlight they seek.

Sincerely,

Todd Tischer

If you're near or around the school and have an opportunity to do some good - please do so and let me know. What the world needs more of is not picket lines of hate, but picket lines of love and kindness.  Here at 106.9 KROC we prefer to share the love and kindness.  Here are a few examples: