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Westboro Baptist Church protests outside of Manitou High School

After making their presence known outside of several Colorado Springs churches Sunday, the controversial Westboro Baptist Church protestors were at Manitou Springs High School on Monday.

To keep the students safe, the school had to take extra precautions. A large police presence was there, and school officials put Manitou High School on a two-hour delay.

Deputy City Administrator Roy Chaney said, “We collaborated with the Colorado Springs Police Department and El Paso County and our local police department, worked out safety details here. Our priority is the safety of the students and the people of Manitou Springs and anyone here today protesting or counter-protesting it’s all about the First Amendment rights.”

Along with the deputy administrator, Mayor Ken Jaray also made sure to be at the high school this morning, and although he may not agree with the message, he says everyone has the right to practice free speech.

“We are a community that includes people, supports people, accepts people and that’s just the nature of the way we are,” said Mayor Jaray.

When KRDO broke the news about WBC’s planned “public preaching” at the high school, hundreds of people shared the post and said they would be counter-protesting.

Monday morning, the Mayor, police and school officials saw fewer than 10 members of the WBC and about 50 counter-protesters.

Pasha Eve, the co-founder of Parasol Patrol, said, “Our primary mission is to shield young people, kids from protestors. So we huge large umbrellas to block the signs and the angry faces that are yelling at them.”

Pasha says her group was not here to counter-protest, but to shield the students from the WBC’s message.

“We are here because Westboro Baptist Church is here. But we are not here for them; we do not engage them, we do not yell back at them. They have the right to say what they want to say, and we have the right to shelter kids from that.”

And with the help of law enforcement, everything was kept under control.

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