A public school in Iowa is under fire for allowing a fundamentalist Christian rock group with a controversial message to play during a school assembly.
Officials at the Dunkerton High School invited “Junkyard Prophet” to play at a special student assembly that was supposed to focus on the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. Instead, students got a rant from band members about abortion, homosexuality and the role of women in family life.
According to the Waterloo Courier, religion wasn’t incorporated overtly into the musical performance. But afterwards the band asked to divide the boys and girls into separate groups for breakout sessions.
Jennifer Littlefield, the mother of a female student, told the Courier that Junkyard Prophet members told the assembled girls “that they were going to have mud on their wedding dresses if they weren’t virgins” and “that anyone who was gay was going to die at the age of 42.” The girls were also told to be submissive to the men in the household and were shown photographs of aborted fetuses.
Littlefield said her daughter called her in tears because she was upset over the incident.
“It blows me away that no one stopped this,” Littlefield told the Courier.
Some students apparently attempted to confront members of the band over what they were saying, but the students were shouted down and ridiculed.
Another mother, Heidi Manahl, said she was angry over the incident.
“I’ve never had so many young women come up to me crying because of what was said to them,” Manahl said. “They were bullied by these people and forced to sit there and told to be quiet.”
After parents complained, Superintendent Jim Stanton said the group had misrepresented itself to the school. Stanton emphasized the “positive portions” of Junkyard Prophet’s message but added that the band expressed “an opinion about intolerance that’s not in line with the beliefs of the Dunkerton Community Schools.”
The school has reportedly asked that its $1,500 payment to the band be returned.
Americans United has monitored the antics of this group before and has warned public schools not to give the band access to students. AU points out that Junkyard Prophet is a project of a Minnesota-based ministry called “You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International.”