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Alamo students skip Westboro Baptist Church protest

The class schedule hadn’t started yet, and students were not present on campus, when demonstrators from Westboro Baptist Church were met by counter-protestors outside an elementary school Tuesday morning in the Alamo area of Contra Costa County.

The protest started around 7:45 a.m. outside Rancho Romero Elementary School at 180 Hemme Ave., but district personnel had caught wind of the plan and switched to a “reverse minimum” school day, according to San Ramon Valley Unified School District spokeswoman Elizabeth Graswich.

As of about 9:30 a.m., classes still hadn’t started yet and the protest was already over, according to Graswich.

Graswich said:

“Today our focus was on the safety of our students and staff, so we put a plan in place working with law enforcement to ensure safety and mitigate the impact on the school day … We’re very grateful to law enforcement for working closely with us and we’ve had amazing support from our parent community and staff community.”

The Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office was not immediately available to provide information about the nature of the counter-protest and what took place.

Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church, a controversial group known for its anti-gay message and protests outside of the funerals of soldiers, has come to the Bay Area in previous years.

During their current time in the Bay Area, members of the group also scheduled a series of demonstrations at churches in Walnut Creek for Sunday morning.

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