School officials in Dunkerton, Iowa, have found themselves in the midst of a controversy after anti-gay preacher Bradlee Dean performed at the town’s high school last Thursday, March 8. After Dean’s Junkyard Prophet band, a Christian heavy metal/rap group, performed they broke the students up into a number of groups, boys, girls and teachers, says the WCF Courier.
Administrators had been expecting a presentation on anti-violence, anti-drug and anti-bullying themes, but instead the girls were reportedly told that they would have mud on their wedding dresses unless they were virgins and that they should take a submissive roll in their marriages. Students also said that they were shown images of aborted fetuses and of AIDS patients who were said to be “suffering the effects of the disease.” Students and also teachers reported that those who tried to leave were “shouted down, mocked and intimidated.”
Nonetheless, four members of the faculty walked out and some students texted and called their parents; some parents took their children out of school for the rest of the day. By the next morning, students were circulating a petition calling on administrators to ban such presentations — and specifically those of Junkyard Prophet — in the future. Another petition calling for the school’s gay community to “quit complaining” has also been circulated.
The WCF Courier says the Dunkerton administrators and faculty had seen a presentation by Junkyard Prophet some years ago that was “different — and less emotionally charged.” Some had even written testimonials that still appear on Junkyard Prophet’s website.
Superintendent Jim Stanton said that the district is asking for its money back and that Junkyard Prophet will not be invited to return. Dean’s group has requested to perform again to “defend their message,” which they claim was misrepresented at the Dunkerton High School assembly last week. Junkyard Prophet has also made requests to perform at the Dunkerton Community Hall and at the city’s fire house; both requests have been denied.
Stanton also says that the school district is in the process of developing an “action plan” according to which a committee of students, teachers, administration staff and parents will screen all performers before inviting them to the school. The school district is also offering counseling for students, says Talking Points Memo.
In light of the fact that Dean made national headlines last year after delivering a prayer on the floor of the Minnesota House in which he questioned President Barack Obama’s faith, it seems that the Dunkerton School District needs to do a lot more homework before inviting performers to its schools.
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