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Many counter protesters defend Rocklin school

By: Aurora Sain, Reporter
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Coming from Kansas, the Westboro Baptist Church made their way to Rocklin on May 9 to protest an area school.

Rocklin Academy Gateway, an elementary school, came under fire last year after one of their kindergarten teachers read a book about a transgender child to her class.

Teacher Kaelin Swaney was named teacher of the year earlier this year by the California Charter Schools Association.

About three members of the group were present with hundreds of counter protesters in support of Rocklin Academy Gateway.

The protestors lined Adams Drive and Lone Tree Boulevard with signs about being inclusive.

The Westboro Baptist Church put out a press release that they would visit Rocklin “and schools should stick to teaching the basics of language, math, science and social studies and leave the rest to the parents.”

The books that Swaney read to the class were “I am Jazz,” a transgender children’s book about reality star Jazz Jennings, and “Red: A crayons story,” about a blue crayon that identifies as a red crayon.

Rocklin Academy Gateway issued a statement on May 9 about the protests: “Today is no different than any other day at Rocklin Academy. Our teachers and administrators are focused on providing students a great education in a thoughtful, supportive environment. Westboro’s rhetoric is hateful and divisive, and doesn’t reflect Rocklin’s values. We are grateful to our Police and Fire Departments helping keeping the children safe and minimizing disruption.”