CINCINNATI - A controversial Kansas church known for protesting at military funerals will hold protests at Oak Hills High School and Miami University next month.
Westboro Baptist Church said on its website it plans to picket at both schools Tuesday, Oct. 25. Members of the church will be at Oak Hills from 2:40 p.m. to 3:10 p.m. and then at Miami from 4:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.
"I have no idea why we would be a target, we have nothing on our calendar that day and have tried to investigate why they may have picked us but have no idea," said Todd Yohey, superintendent of the Oak Hills Local School District.
Miami University has been sparring with the church since last week after a professor in Miami University's department of comparative religion contacted the church a few weeks ago about a possible visit.
But in a statement released last week, Miami saidit was not interested in the group coming.
"In light of the many concerns that have been expressed, we have decided not to proceed with plans regarding the Westboro Baptist Church," the university said in a statement. "Although studying religious activist, religious extremeists, and religious militants is vitally important, we see the complexities that arise when this sort of research is done under the auspices of Miami University, and we appreciate the potential negative impact on the Miami University community."
On Monday, Miami released a statement about the church visiting.
"University officials are discussing a planned protest by the Westboro Baptist Church," the university said in the statement. "The WBC has a First Amendment right to demonstrate on the perimeter sidewalks of Miami University."
When asked if a permit was needed or had been requested, a Miami University spokesperson referred us to the above statement and had no other comment.
The church denounced Miami on its website stating, "Miami University, the home of the First Amendment hating cowards who have no courage of their convictions regarding academic freedom and worse and more, you hate God."
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