Bradlee Dean | Education | Iowa | Wisconsin

Zealots Delivered Anti-Gay, Anti-Woman Message In Public School Assembly

ImgresBefore Dunkerton High School in Iowa agreed to allow the band Junkyard Prophet to run an assembly for its students -- and certainly before the school's officials agreed to produce the band's fee, which is ordinarily $1,500 -- school officials really ought to have run the band's name through Google.

If they had, they'd have realized that Junkyard Prophet is the proselytizing apparatus of You Can Run But You Can't Hide Ministries, a Christianist group with a message precisely as vengeful and violent as its name suggests.

The band's founder, officials would have learned, is drummer Bradlee Dean: the lugubrious beatmaker who called Barack Obama a heathen while delivering an opening prayer at the Minnesota State House, and who occasionally suggests that Christians should take their cues on gay rights from conservative, sharia-abiding Muslims

But the school officials did no such Googling, and Junkyard Prophet appeared at the school on Thursday. They performed a concert, and then divided the school into three break-out groups: One for boys, one for girls, and one for teachers. (That may well mean that these angry zealots were left alone with the students after virtually no official screening at all.) From the Lacrosse Tribune:

"They told my daughter, the girls, that they were going to have mud on their wedding dresses if they weren't virgins," said Jennifer Littlefield, a parent upset with the band's performance.

Her daughter, Alivia Littlefield, 16, is a junior, and called Littlefield after the event.

"I couldn't even understand her, she was crying so hard," Littlefield said.

Littlefield also did not appreciate what she described as gay bashing.

"They told these kids that anyone who was gay was going to die at the age of 42," she said. "It just blows me away that no one stopped this."

Alivia was only one of many students left in tears by the band's breakout sessions (which, in addition to encouraging young girls to safeguard their virginity, reminded them to remain subservient to their future husbands). After Junkyard Prophet left the campus, an apparently sheepish Superintendent Jim Stanton addressed the school, emphasizing the "positive aspects of the group's message." But, according to the Tribune:

... he also told students the presenters shared "an opinion about intolerance that's not in line with the beliefs of the Dunkerton Community Schools."

"We promote tolerance for one another," Stanton said. "We will continue to celebrate diversity in our student body."

Nevertheless, it seems that students who attempted to depart Junkyard Prophet's breakout sessions were "shouted down" or "ridiculed as disrespectful" -- whether by school staff or by band members is unclear.

Dunkerton High has requested that Junkyard Prophet return their honorarium. 

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  1. One can only conclude that many many school administrators are totally clueless about the internet, and what a wonderful source of information it can be. No wonder American schools are failing students, look at the administrators.

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Mar 10, 2012 4:47:11 PM

  2. The administrators owe that student body AND all the parents more than a sheepish apology and any attempt to excuse that hateful group's influence on their school by trying to point out any "positive aspects" in it. There was actual psychological damage done to those kids that's going to take more undoing than the principal's weak statement. They need to invite some followup speakers that actually do represent valuing diversity and provide some self-esteem rebuilding! This is just shameful!

    Posted by: timesmasher | Mar 10, 2012 4:56:36 PM

  3. The Principal and any teachers involved with this should be FIRED. They were aiding and abetting hate criminals who brought a message of obscene hatred directly to the students.

    Posted by: Johnson | Mar 10, 2012 5:02:43 PM

  4. For 30 years now the religious right has been working to infiltrate and take over local school boards and thereby restore Christianity to the public school system. They've been increasingly successful at getting Christian clubs, prayer clubs, and Bible-as-literature classes on many HS campuses in addition to rewriting textbooks that will be used nationwide. This has been a dangerous stealth operation that has gone largely unopposed and is now starting to reach crisis proportions.

    Posted by: candide001 | Mar 10, 2012 5:07:39 PM

  5. I suspect the school administrators knew exactly what they were doing. Why pretend otherwise?

    Posted by: Fallaf | Mar 10, 2012 5:10:14 PM

  6. It's the Peter Principle at work once again--clearly the school administrators have all been promoted to the point of total incompetence. I cannot imagine in my wildest dreams that a school would not do some due diligence on a group that is coming in to perform *and* conduct some sort of "educational" workshops to the students and staff. (I am sure the breakouts were promoted as educational sessions. Why else would school time be allotted to them?) But it sounds as if this school just wrote a check and said "Bring it on!" Good luck getting their $1500 back. I'm sure that money is long gone.

    Absolutely unbelievable.

    Posted by: Dev | Mar 10, 2012 5:13:21 PM

  7. When are people going to wake up to the fact that religion is rooted in hate.

    Posted by: Oliver | Mar 10, 2012 5:13:29 PM

  8. This is an utterly lame and inadequate response to the situation.

    Let's start by getting one thing very, very clear: these assemblies don't "happen by accident." There is one person (more likely, several people) on the inside of the school district who actively pulled strings to make this event happen.

    Firstly, the civil rights of these students were violated. They were subjected to hours of mandatory physical and verbal assault by the school, who then paid the assailants.

    Clearly, a real investigation is needed.

    The individual responsible for inviting this group needs to be identified and terminated immediately.

    The individual(s) responsible for approving the situation (including the principal) need to be identified and terminated immediately.

    Other schools need to be advised of the consequences of this sort of thing (which is becoming common across many public schools in the USA).

    And finally, students who were subjected to this mandatory assault should pursue civil charges against both the school and the individuals who brought this crazy crap into the educational sphere. Hopefully the latter will be utterly bankrupted.

    Posted by: Heh | Mar 10, 2012 5:17:44 PM

  9. And while I think of it, if they were busy schooling the girls in subservience, imagine what they were telling the boys. Likely teaching them how to subjugate women and that men are god's gift to the world and should rule over all. Just what we need is another generation of Rush Limbaughs and Rick Santorums.

    Posted by: timesmasher | Mar 10, 2012 5:18:55 PM

  10. @CANDIDE001 :

    Yes ! ......exactly what I have been posting several time......a concerted, coordinated and united push against gays having equality.
    And it's in all aspects of society, not just schools.......hence my suspicions of who's behind the push.......I suspect Opus Dei and the Legionnairs of Christ.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Mar 10, 2012 5:20:56 PM

  11. Pop singer Rihanna has been known to embrace and admire extremely homophobic musicians like Beenie Man. Why hasn't towleroad criticized Rihanna?

    Posted by: jason | Mar 10, 2012 5:25:16 PM

  12. I have to wonder myself what actually brought this group to this high school to begin with. I know when I went to high school, any event that came to our high school was thoroughly investigated first before it was allowed to step on stage. I'm guessing that a Christianist group or a small group of high school students were behind this or put up to it.

    It stands to reason that these Christianists care not about the Constitution or that it states "separation of church and state." This just adds more proof that these Christianists...NO...not Christianists...DOMINIONISTS(let's call it what it truly is)...are now firing their warning shots across the bows of our public schools in an attempt to create a Sharia-like atmosphere of Dominionist Theocracy.

    Posted by: Ray Sager | Mar 10, 2012 5:33:34 PM

  13. JASON - "something negative about women and blacks" -
    just like in the "News" thread. Too funny!

    Posted by: TJ | Mar 10, 2012 5:45:39 PM

  14. but of course, the problem in schools r the teachers, not the administrators.....

    and this excuse for a band, they must be disciples of Rush Limbaugh...

    Posted by: V-8 | Mar 10, 2012 5:56:00 PM

  15. As an experienced teacher and Head teacher I would suggest that the school administration is not fit for purpose. And the buck stops with the head or principal who clearly needs to be moved.

    Posted by: Steve | Mar 10, 2012 6:10:14 PM

  16. Schools keep bring theses groups in. I don't get it.

    Posted by: GeorgeM | Mar 10, 2012 6:14:37 PM

  17. I'm simply pointing to the fact that towleroad seems to go after the little minnows but not the big minnows. It's fine to after Junkyard Prophet but where is towleroad's criticism of the commercial music industry in general?

    I used Rihanna as an example of a commercially successful pop performer who hasn't been put under the microscope by towleroad and other members of Gay Inc. Rihanna has a record of supporting and embracing extremely homophobic acts.

    Posted by: jason | Mar 10, 2012 6:16:42 PM

  18. I am an alumnus of DHS (Class of '87) and I am ashamed that this was allowed to happen. Yes, I can remember plenty of assemblies, but not one of those assemblies included a religious organization, let alone a hate group. My how times have changed.

    Posted by: Phoenix Justice | Mar 10, 2012 6:19:21 PM

  19. This is the same group that was an issue in the boycott of Target after they gave money to a PAC which funded campaign ads for anti-gay gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer. Emmer had given money to the band whose leader suggested Americans should follow the example of Muslims who believe gays should be executed. The superintendant sounds sincere, but the thing I most don't get is why none of the staff didn't resist when the band—versus credentialed educators—wanted suspiciously to divide the boy students from the girl students.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Mar 10, 2012 7:33:28 PM

  20. Ahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    The school admins and teachers are douchebags and the kids paid for it!

    And we wonder how it is that we've cultivated such stupidity in America.


    Posted by: Marc C | Mar 10, 2012 9:44:20 PM

  21. So you can have no talent, and hate and ignorance for a portion of the population, and get paid to indocturnate high school kids with animosity? This insults me on so many levels, but especially as a singer. This is not talent it's hate, if you get paid to sing it should be entertainment.

    Posted by: MKe | Mar 10, 2012 9:57:08 PM

  22. Are kids in an Iowa high school really so lame that they would fall for this nonsense? I mean I can see how some of them would be that stupid but most of them should be smart enough to reject it.

    The kids have access to computers don't they? How do you keep someone stupid if they can read?

    Posted by: church clones? | Mar 10, 2012 10:08:22 PM

  23. These aspects also trouble me. Was the honorarium paid with public funds, taxpayer funds? How was this event and the expenditure of funds justified as part of the educational program of the school? It sounds as if attendance at the event was mandatory -- that could be construed as a violation of the civil rights of the students, their right to associate freely, especially for any students who were older than the Iowa mandatory attendance age.

    In my suburban Atlanta high school, an event with an outside speaker or group, if scheduled during class hours, would not have been mandatory, regardless of the content. An outside group would not have been given a captive audience. That was in the early 70s.

    Posted by: jpeckjr | Mar 10, 2012 10:53:33 PM

  24. The LaCrosse newspaper article says the event lasted THREE HOURS! The group had visited some years ago, it says, with an anti-violence, anti-drug message. Faculty who remembered them supported them coming back. But THREE HOURS of lost classroom time!?

    Posted by: jpeckjr | Mar 10, 2012 11:00:13 PM

  25. I mean, these guys have a point. You know how women are--all having sex by ourselves and stuff. We deserve all that mud on our wedding dresses, harlots that we are. If it weren't for us and our slutty trickster ways the innocent men of this world would never have premarital sex.

    And I'm sure that Junkyard Prophet would have a great old time in Saudi Arabia as a Christian under Sharia. I feel so warmly towards the message I'd be more than happy to pay to send them there.

    Posted by: Rin | Mar 10, 2012 11:41:44 PM

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