Anti-Abortion Protesters Demonstrate Outside Loch Raven High School
A group of protesters held signs outside Loch Raven High School.
UPDATE (12:17 p.m.) — A group of pro-life protesters gathered near the entrance to Loch Raven High School this morning as parents and busses dropped students off to begin the school day.
Jeff Okeson, a Loch Raven parent whose daughter is in eleventh grade at the school, told Patch that there were "a bunch of protesters outside the school" when he went to drop his daughter off Friday morning.
"They were anti-abortionists—they had the typical signs with nasty pictures of unborn fetuses," Okeson said. "They were pinpointing the buses as kids were being dropped off; I thought it was interesting that they were doing that at a school entrance."
Okeson said the protesters were standing along Cowpens Avenue, near the entrance to the school.
Loch Raven High School principal Bonnie Lambert told Patch that three people were standing near the entrance to the school, one on either side of the roadway, and one in a median dividing the two lanes.
"We don't think that it was an appropriate location for this kind of protest," Lambert said. "We're very disappointed that they chose to demonstrate this way, but we have faculty and parents out there to distract the students attention from the signs, and to prevent students and parents from becoming upset"
Charles Herndon, a spokesman for Baltimore County Public Schools, confirmed that there was a group of protesters at the school this morning.
He said the school system became aware about a month ago that a group of anti-abortion protestors was "selecting high schools at random" and "showing up occasionally to express their views during the arrival of students in the morning."
"As far as we know it's the same group," Herndon said. "As far as I know, they have all the permits they need, they've complied with all the local regulations they have to comply with."
Herndon also said that although the protest took place near the school, to the best of his knowledge the protesters were not on school property.
After the incident in Perry Hall two weeks ago, County Councilman David Marks released the following statement:
Our office has talked with the Baltimore County Police Department's Colonel of Operations and to the permits office. We have asked the permits office to make sure principals are notified when this type of permit is issued, and the Colonel of Operations is going to communicate to his staff that police should ask to see a permit whenever these type of incidents occur.
I am personally pro-life and support freedom of speech, but I question the location of this protest and think it was disruptive during a time of the day that is particularly busy and congested.
What do you think: is outside a high school an appropriate place to stage an anti-abortion protest? Tell us why or why not in the comments.