Controversial Westboro Church Invited To Speak At Worthington School


UPDATED: Saturday April 30, 2011 7:45 AM

A controversial Kansas church that has announced plans to protest at a Hilliard school was actually invited to central Ohio by another school district, 10TV's Tanisha Mallett reported on Thursday.

The Westboro Baptist Church said that it plans to demonstrate outside of Hilliard Darby High School next month, but they decided to come to Columbus after being invited by Worthington schools.

The last time members of Westboro Baptist Church came to central Ohio they protested at The Ohio State University.

The church made a stop there after speaking at Worthington Kilbourne High School. The district said it invited Westboro back again as an educational opportunity.

"I am very proud of my district for having the fortitude to invite these folks in to allow them to express their views but also to educate the children on why these views aren't correct," said Worthington Board of Education member David Bressman.

Bressman said many controversial speakers have addressed students as part of the high school's U.S Political Thought and Radicalism class.

As a Jewish man, with a son who is in that class, he said understands how people feel about the church's rhetoric but would rather students learn to deal with it in a protective environment.

"Whether from this group or other groups and I think it is an awesome thing to invite a group like this in and then afterwards have our students process through why these people are kooks," Bressman said. "Why these people are wrong, with a teacher guiding that discussion.

The church said it will protest starting at 7:10 a.m. on May 10.

Worthington said they are expected to speak 10 a.m. Parents have been invited to sit in and listen.

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April 26, 2011: Controversial Westboro Church To Protest Hilliard Schools