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Iowa

Principal who invited anti-gay Christian band to school assembly resigns

District superintendent says there's no connection
Wednesday, March 14, 2012

DUNKERTON, Iowa — The high school principal who allowed the Christian rock band Junkyard Prophet to espouse anti-gay, anti-abortion views at a student assembly last week, is resigning, according to school district officials.

Mike Cooper, principal of Dunkerton High School, resigned Monday in the wake of growing controversy surrounding the appearance of Junkyard Prophet, but will remain in position through the end of the school year.

Dunkerton High School

Superintendent Jim Stanton told the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier that Cooper’s decision is unrelated to the band’s appearance at the school assembly.

“He simply wants to be a superintendent,” Stanton said, acknowledging that the timing of the announcement suggested there might be a connection.

It was Cooper who recommended the district invite Junkyard Prophet to perform at the assembly, and said the plan had been “in the works” for nearly a month.

Students and faculty said the assembly last Thursday started well with music, and a message focusing on how some music can have a bad influence on kids, but following the performance, band members made offensive remarks about gays and transgender people, and told the girls they “were going to have mud on their wedding dresses if they weren’t virgins.”

The band is part of the “You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International” Christian youth ministry founded by Bradlee Dean — that same day, the Southern Poverty Law Center added the “You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International” ministry to its list of anti-gay hate groups.

Stanton said the group was invited to share “a very strong anti-violence, anti-drug, anti-alcohol” message, but many of their views didn’t conform to the district’s teaching of tolerance, and now acknowledges it was a mistake to invite them.

A reporter for the Courier told LGBTQ Nation that Cooper had declined to comment about his pending departure, nor did he respond Wednesday to inquiries by the Associated Press.

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Filed under: Iowa

33 more reader comments:

  1. Good

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 8:55pm
  2. More good news <3

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 8:56pm
  3. Wow!

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 8:56pm
  4. GOOD! BUH BYE, LOSER!!!!! >:-)

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 8:57pm
  5. Where does he get off thinking it was okay to do something like this?

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 8:59pm
  6. Wow…

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 8:59pm
  7. The human race is never going to learn!!

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 9:02pm
  8. Well, there’s a step in the right direction.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 9:02pm
  9. …wow. But yet the band agreed to “no violence. No alcohol” how did the gay and lebia matter come about? I for believe in the savior and our creater. But just because I’m a believer doesn’t mean I’m against. I mean I am bisexual after all. But that’s still no right of the band. Not technically the principals fault.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 9:04pm
  10. ummmm – he’s leaving to be a superintendent??? HELL NO!! This guy reccomended this crap in a public school to a captive (read that as required) assemblyof high school kids. He also made NO attempts to stop the assembly when he and other staff along with student were being fed (read that as preached) this hateful vile crap. I hope the parents who were offended by this obvious attack on their kids and feeding their kids hate speech sue the district for damages. We’re not talking money but to ensure their kids are never preached to in a required assembly on publicly funded school grounds.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 9:04pm
  11. Good riddance to a scum bag >:-)

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 9:06pm
  12. Good!

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 9:10pm
  13. principal got paid and left. he didn’t care what the band was preaching

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 9:12pm
  14. Unfortunatly, some damage may already have been done, the birth of new bullies.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 9:16pm
  15. good

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 9:17pm
  16. what gutter do these lunatics crawl out from under???

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 9:20pm
  17. this shit aint ever gonna stop

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 9:25pm
  18. Good riddance!!! 8-{P}

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 9:36pm
  19. V
    Good

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 9:39pm
  20. Some peoples kids!

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 9:47pm
  21. I checked out the Junkyard Prophets fb page and there are countless comments on every post ridculing them for being such haters. Knowing this and that the principal has resigned makes me feel a little bit better. Yay.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 9:58pm
  22. YAY!

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 10:45pm
  23. The damage is done. It sounds like some of the students were hysterical after listening to their homophobic, incredibly misogynistic “message” and I didn’t even see where any gay kids were interviewed. I hope the school can set up some counseling that will help.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 11:22pm
  24. It’s awful. I am glad justice has been served. Now if someone could just shut down this supposed “Christian Rock Band”

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 11:30pm
  25. this makes me sick.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 11:43pm
  26. ‘Stanton said the group was invited to share “a very strong anti-violence, anti-drug, anti-alcohol” message, but many of their views didn’t conform to the district’s teaching of tolerance, and now acknowledges it was a mistake to invite them.’

    commendable; in hind sight. I believe Mike Cooper should be barred from becoming a superintendant.

    Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 12:07am
  27. good, he’s gone

    Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 1:19am
  28. Wow….what an idiot.

    Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 4:49am
  29. @ David… shut down the band??? although I may find their views highly offensive and hypocritical, why should they have any less rights to their beleifs than you or I?? Respect their right to be who they are, as you would expect other to respect yours…”shutting down anyone for speaking their beleifs”, religious or otherwise, may be a road best left untraveled……??? jmo

    Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 5:21am
  30. if the band did spew hate and intolerance against other humans, they have dug their own hole….straight to their favorite furnace.

    Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 5:40am
  31. Everyone seems to be missing that he isn`t gone _ he is becoming a Superintendent – even more influence over the board

    Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 5:41am
  32. Debbie, normally I would agree with you, but this Bradlee Dean openly advocates for the imprisonment and killing of gays. There has to be a point at which our right to not be killed trumps his right to free speech.

    Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 5:59am
  33. I am glad he resigned, I am moving back to Iowa after a 40 year absence and always thought Iowans are a live and let live kind of people. No one needs the Junkyard and the hate they spew at a high school assembly.

    Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 8:43am