1,000 UW-Stout Students Drive Protesters Off Campus

By: Sarah Rasmussen Email
By: Sarah Rasmussen Email

Campus Police say about 1,000 students showed up after people from a Kansas religious organization known as the Westboro Baptist Church arrived.

According to the group's website, they came to stout to picket the weekend deaths of three students who were killed in a house fire.

They said on their website, quote "thank God for three more dead students" also saying quote: "God sent the fires."

Students say this is what upset them.

"I guess they wanted to tell us that the kids who died in the fire was our fault and the state's fault, God wanted that. Which was pretty ridiculous,” said UW-Stout student Josh Sondelski.

Freshman Paul Krumberger said, "They were talking about Stout kids who just passed away this past weekend. It's pretty horrible. It’s pretty Ridiculous."

Jim Uhlir the Executive Director of Health and Safety tells us Campus Police arrested one person for disorderly conduct and theft.

Police say the man grabbed a Westboro Baptist Church protester's sign and ran off.

Campus Police had their hands full, dealing with hundreds of students and the hand full of visitors.

More than 20 officers from the campus and Menomonie Police Department were there, blocking off two streets and keeping things under control.

UW-Stout students say the things the protesters were saying were upsetting, but they're proud of their school for standing up to them.

"They had their signs and everything but there were a lot of Stout students out there kind of surrounding them and stopping them from really doing anything,” said William Mohn, a UW-Stout student.

"We really showed our voice you know. Like, we told them to get out of our town,” said Sondelski.

Krumberger said, "I'm pretty sure the Stout students had their way with them, that's for sure."

UW-Stout spokesman Doug Mell told us this morning he was also proud of the students for standing up to the group and for what they believed was right.

The students say the Kansas protesters only stayed for about 15 minutes.

To view a press release the Westboro Baptist Church put out about this event, Click here.

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  • by GaryB Location: Waterloo ON on Aug 8, 2008 at 07:09 AM
    They are in it for the money as much as anything - they have there own legal group which sues every time they dont get to picket - and the legal group gets paid out of public funding for the representation regardless of whethere or not they are succesful - now you know how they can afford to do it
  • by Catharine Location: Eau Claire on Apr 12, 2008 at 06:56 AM
    My heart goes out to the families who have lost their loved ones. I am thoroughly disgusted and infuriated by the incomprehensibly hateful behavior of the Westboro Baptist Church. I was so shocked and bewildered by their behavior, I did some onine searching about them. It's hard to believe a group this twisted exists. Thankfully, in my search, I also discovered a wonderful group of individuals opposing the Westboro hate group. Check out the Patriot Guard: http://www.patriotguard.org/ Consider giving them your support in memory of the Stout students and all the others who've been victims of Westboro's hate campaign.
  • by sarha Location: elk mound on Apr 11, 2008 at 05:37 PM
    Religion has gotten way out of hand, and this proves it. These people should have been picked up for harrassment. Where did these people get the money to travel here? My only wish is that people like these would read the Bible themselves, rather than having someone read it them. And then tell them what it means. As adults they should be able to figure out what the Bible means all by themselves. In the past few years, Religion has came to equal, government, sex, greed, and power. Just opposite of what it is suppose to do. Just look at the Bible thumpers in Texas. I am so happy the students at Stout, ran them kooks out of town. Hopefully, those kind will think twice the next time they want to come to Wisconsin.
  • by Jo Location: Eau Claire on Apr 11, 2008 at 04:23 PM
    Great job of the Stout students to stand up against those heathens. Did any one read what their web site is? These are ignorant inbred morons and should be watched closely.
  • by Cory Location: EC on Apr 11, 2008 at 04:18 PM
    From doing some checking online, they seem to be a cult, much like the "JonesTown" cult, that does everything they are told as they believe it to be the "word of god". You know, I think it would be really fun to show up at their "church" and protest them! See how they like it when their service is disrupted by people causing a specticle. We should be afforded the same protection from the law that they are. I mean, on student is arrested for grabbing one of their signs, but they aren't given any kind of citation for say tresspassing or anything else they could find?
  • by Menomonie Location: Menomonie on Apr 11, 2008 at 03:21 PM
    Human rulership has proved to be a failure, well symbolized by the number 666. Notice their flyer says they're coming from Kansas 66604. “If anyone makes the statement: ‘I love God,’ and yet is hating his brother, he is a liar.” (1 John 4:20) Jesus even said: “Continue to love your enemies.” (Matthew 5:44) True Religion . . . PRACTICES LOVE: True worshippers are “no part of the world,” are not divided by race or culture, and display ‘love among themselves.’ (John 13:35; 17:16; Acts 10:34, 35)
  • by katie Location: IL on Apr 11, 2008 at 01:50 PM
    these people at this supposed "church" are an obvious waste of space and a and a nuisance to our society... geez, what is next... oh, maybe they'll protest the rescue of 400 children from that polygamist compound in texas
  • by Judy Location: Hayward on Apr 11, 2008 at 11:47 AM
    I can not beleive some one would be so sick to say some thing like the protester's did. We are so sad of what happened to these family's. Those young people had a life ahead of them and and just taken away from there family's. They say what goes around comes around. So sad to think people could do some thing like this at a time like this. Our prayers are with the family's. Way to go Stout young people.
  • by Nancy Location: Chippewa Falls on Apr 11, 2008 at 09:30 AM
    It sickens me to have people like that show up and say such hateful things about 3 wonderful young people who did nothing wrong. I am proud of the students for running them off. We live in a country that allows freedom of speech, but when is too much, and for them to pretend to be talking for God. How scary! Our thoughts and real prayers go out to the families of these kids and to the Stout students for standing up for what is right. Don't these people have anything better to do then show up to hurt people, and to protest our solders like that is very sick. None of us like the war, but because of what our solders are doing it allows idiot people like them to go around the country and say the horrible things they say. Sad isn't it?
  • by Baptist Location: Wisconsin on Apr 11, 2008 at 09:10 AM
    Westboro Baptist Church is classified as a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center. While its members identify themselves as Baptists, the church is an independent church not affiliated with any know Baptist convention's or associations. Know that God is love and that these people hide behind their ignorance. Look them up, almost all of their protests show that they are hiding behind signs and scarves etc... as to not be identified. Hmmmm......I wonder why they are hiding? There is comfort in knowing that God can see them and He will punish them accordingly. Solace in Christ. My prayers go out to all who have been touched by this terrible tragedy. God help those ignorant members of this cult.
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