LUBBOCK, Texas — On Tuesday, LubbockPRIDE publicly condemned anti-LGBTQ protests where they said groups have been showing up at multiple high schools on the South Plains. 

“They tend to interact with students as they’re coming into school, which is obviously something that they can’t avoid because they need to show up to school, so we felt that it was important to condemn these acts,” said Nick Harpster, the advocacy coordinator for LubbockPRIDE.

Harpster said these protests should have no place in the community.

“I don’t know why they’ve chosen to show up in Lubbock or why they can just stay where they’re at, but they’re not really needed anywhere they are,” Harpster said. “It seems to be especially dangerous, and we just wanted to make sure to take a stand that this is not something we’re going to see here in Lubbock.”

Harpster said one of the protest groups from Amarillo has been seen at Lubbock High School, Estacado High School and Monterey High School recently.

(See below for a statement from Pastor David Grisham)

The National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) reports high school students who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual are more than four times as likely to have attempted suicide compared to their heterosexual peers. 

“It makes you feel less of a person, and you know that people truly hate you and want you to change or feel that if you don’t change that you’re a bad person,” Harpster said. “That’s not anything that anyone needs to feel when they’re trying to develop their personality and who they are.”

Harpster hopes LubbockPRIDE can work with schools in the Hub City to educate and find a solution where students can feel comfortable at school – regardless of how they identify.

“It’s not just here, it’s everywhere, so we know what’s happening,” Harpster said. “Even if we aren’t aware of specific instances, there’s always more that we can do with the schools to work together and figure out a way that the students can all feel safe being there and getting the education that they need and want.”

For more information, visit the LubbockPRIDE website.

After this story was initially published, Pastor David Grisham issued the following statement:

I have been a street preacher for almost 16 years and have preached the Gospel at nearly every state in the U.S. as well as Canada and Mexico. It is a command from Christ to preach the Gospel in ALL the world to EVERY creature. This includes high schools, middle schools, universities, large events, sinful events etc. and to anyone, including children, if we feel led to do so. I have been preaching at Texas Tech University for a couple of years now and have preached at Lubbock Pride events and we are just expanding our range in Lubbock. Expect myself and others at more events and In front of other schools.