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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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