There was a story reported in the LaCrosse Tribune and also on Yahoo that caught my eye and continued to completely horrify me as I kept on reading. A band called Junkyard Prophet was supposed to give a presentation about bullying and making good choices to students at Dunkerton High School. However, over the next three hours, this is what ensued:
The band started out innocently enough with a musical performance (although they are a Christian band, and their lyrics clearly state some of their views). After the performance, the group split the school into boys, girls, and teachers and divided them into different areas of the school.
The boys then listened to the groups views on the U.S. Constitution and what one Prophet referred to as the "10 Commandments." The leader of this section of the group showed images of musicians who have died from drug overdoses.
Meanwhile, over in the girls' camp, the students were told to save themselves for their husbands and to assume a submissive role in the household. They were also informed that there would be mud on their wedding dresses if they were not virgins at their wedding. The girls were then forced to chant some sort of mantra about remaining pure. At some point in there, the students were also informed that anyone who was gay was going to die at age 42. Those students who tried to walk out or attempted to confront the speakers were shouted down and ridiculed for being disrespectful. Oh, and they were also shown pictures of aborted fetuses. Charming. This three hour circus understandably brought many students to hysterics.
There is so much fail in this entire situation that it's hard to know where to start. I feel as if the best way to describe how this makes me feel is just to ask questions. First of all, shouldn't a school communicate with someone they invite (and pay) to be a speaker to their students about things like the groups views, what they're going to talk about, what they are allowed to comment on and what they are not allowed to comment on? Second, why would the faculty and coordinators at a school allow the students to be divided up without any faculty present? Third, once students started trying to walk out and were becoming visibly upset and calling their parents, why didn't the faculty put a stop to the presentation? Fourth, why did Superintendent Jim Stanton state that overall the group offered "a very strong anti-violence, anti-drug, anti-alcohol message"? Fifth, is the school going to seek out protections for their students now that the damage is done (counseling, a real anti-bullying message, assemblies on acceptance, etc.)? And sixth, what the fuck ever happened to separation of church and state?