Westboro Baptist Church to picket in Cupertino


Updated at 10:58 p.m., Oct. 19
Click here for continuing coverage of today’s events at Cupertino High School.

Updated at 11:52 p.m., Oct. 17
Unite Cupertino has released final guidelines for the silent counter-protest set to occur on Wednesday morning.

Updated at 1:36 p.m., Oct. 17
According to The Prospector, CHS Principal Kami Tomberlain would like to discuss protocol and expectations of the counter-protest in an assembly on Tuesday, Oct. 18.

On Thursday, Oct. 14, the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church issued a press release announcing that it would be picketing at Cupertino High School on Oct. 19 from 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. This followed an earlier announcement on the same day stating that the church will be holding a “memorial service” for the late Steve Jobs at the Apple Campus from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

The press releases, which can be found on the church’s website, God Hates Fags, denounce CHS teachers and parents for corrupting students and state that Steve Jobs is in Hell.

“You brutish teachers and hateful parents have broken the moral compass of this generation, teaching rebellion with everything you say and do,” says one of the press releases.

This press release, erroneously dated Friday, Oct. 14, was posted onto the church's website on Thursday. Photo courtesy of the Westboro Baptist Church.

The Westboro Baptist Church is known for its extreme stance on homosexuality and controversial picketing at the funerals of deceased homosexuals, soldiers, and law enforcement officers. It has previously picketed at Bay Area high schools in the past, such as Gunn High School in the spring of 2010 to spread anti-gay sentiment, which resulted in a peaceful counter-protest organized by Gunn students.

A Tumblr blog named Unite Cupertino has been set up by senior Christina Aguila with more information of a silent protest scheduled to occur at 8 a.m. on Wednesday.

News of the church’s intentions has led to a counter-protest to be organized by CHS students via Facebook, and they are currently discussing further action.

Check back for continued coverage of this developing story.

The press releases for the picketing can be found here. Discretion is advised.
Cupertino High School
Apple Campus

About Author

Elvin Wong the photography editor for News, Opinion, and Special Report sections of El Estoque. http://elvinwong.net/about

  • Vincent

    Just wonderful. Words can’t express how I feel about this.

  • Boaz

    I have to say if you really want to protest them, delete this article. Every bit of attention you give them supports their cause. You’ve just given them more attention which is exactly what they want. They are the definition of troll and all they want is news coverage. If you really wish to protest them, ignore them and show them that they’re not even worth your time. I know the argument posted: http://unitecupertino.tumblr.com/post/11566261430/why-we-shouldnt-ignore-the-wbc-protests

    says that if we ignore them then we give them more energy to go after steve jobs and that it will show them we are unaffected by the protest. well that is hypocritical since you basically called upon 500 people to go silently protest them and spent a lot of effort organizing it. even my post right now is giving them more attention. Anyways with 500 high school students going, i can guarantee at least one will break out in anger. this has happened many times with WBC silent protests and has only led to their arrest and trial. So I personally advise all to stop talking about it. delete your facebook posts, delete this post, pretend they don’t exist and soon they will have no influence on us an only then will they truly have lost.

    • Gecko

      I have to agree. None of the counter protest ever get anywhere. All they are in reality, is a group of trolls. Trying to get your attention and ruin your day.

    • Natalie

      Ignorance has never been a solution. Covering your eyes won’t make the monster go away.
      It is better to spread awareness and support the people who are being attacked than to play pretend in the hopes that WBC will simply disappear.

    • Erin

      There have actually been successful protests. In one case when this happened, someone set up a booth to donate money to LGBT and Anti-Bullying groups. It was entirely peaceful and a lot of money was raised for a good cause. I was there this morning, and it was nice. The general attitude of tolerance and love was encouraging. And the WBC left 2/3 of the way through the time they originally planned to picket. I’d say it worked.

  • turkey

    how can a group that believes shooitngs and school shootings are good be alowed to protest in front of a school that was recently locked down because of a shooter in the city?

  • Anonymous

    Why did they choose Cupertino High School specifically?

    • I had contacted a spokesperson from WBC to have these questions answered, but he never followed up with me.

      You can read their reasons for picketing by reading their press release which is linked at the end of the article.

    • J

      I’ve heard people say that they picked CHS just because it’s really close to Apple. WBC is literally picketing CHS for a half hour, packing up and moving to Apple to picket right after.


      yeah, I agree with J. Apparently, it was because CHS is really close to Apple, so…they figure, why not protest at a school too?don’t they protest at high schools a lot? I mean, if the students or whatever attacked them or did whatever to them, couldn’t they sue the district for money?

  • What are Fred Phelps and the WBC afraid of anyhow? Rainbows? Unicorns? A flaming pink queer apocalypse? I attempted to address this with a portrait of the good reverend on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2011/03/fred-phelps-and-westboro-baptist-church.html Drop in and let me know what you think!