By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
As students left Bowling Green High School on Wednesday afternoon, they were met by anti-abortion protesters with graphic photos of aborted fetuses.
Principal Jeff Dever said the protesters showed up with no notice to the school district.
“I didn’t want those people there, especially with the kids,” Dever said this morning. “Some kids were afraid to go past them.”
However, the six protesters stayed on the sidewalk along West Poe Road – “which is a public space,” he said.
Bowling Green police responded, and along with Dever, talked with the protesters and advised them to stay off school property and not go past the public sidewalk.
Dever said he asked one of the protesters why they would want juveniles to see the graphic images. The protester reportedly told Dever that he first saw such photographs of abortions when he was 6 years old. “Shame on your parents,” the principal said he responded to the protester.
The anti-abortion group was reportedly at Bowling Green State University earlier in the day, then moved over to the high school in time for school dismissal. There remained there from about 2:15 to 3 p.m.
“The bad thing was it scared the kids. They were spooked about walking through,” Dever said. “It kind of stunk. They shouldn’t do that.”
Some other students were angered by the protesters, the principal said. “We had kids who wanted to argue with them.”
According to Dever, this is the first time anti-abortion protesters have taken up space in front of the school. He’s hoping it’s the last.
“I don’t want schools to become battle grounds for national issues,” he said. “It wasn’t healthy yesterday.”
The anti-abortion group outside the school Wednesday is reportedly going across the country, visiting university campuses and public schools.
“Unfortunately, we became their target,” Dever said.