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3 Members of a Hate Group Showed Up in Rocklin — Hundreds Stood Up to Them

ROCKLIN -- Hundreds of counter-protesters stood up against three members of the Westboro Baptist Church when they came to Rocklin on Wednesday morning.

The crowd gathered at Admas Drive and Lone Tree Boulevard to support Rocklin Academy.

Rocklin Academy Gateway came into the spotlight after kindergarten teacher Kaelin Swaney read a children's book called "I Am Jazz," the story about a transgender child. Swaney was given the book by one of her students who is transgender.

Just three members of the Westboro Baptist Church, a hate group known for using inflammatory language against the LGBTQ community, were in Rocklin to protest after Swaney won the California Charter Schools Association's Teacher of the Year award in 2017.

"It makes me happy because people are supporting my friend who is transgender and actually goes to this school," Sydney, who is 13, told FOX40.

Sydney stood shoulder to shoulder with her mother.

"I, unfortunately, think they are here to get attention and while they are getting some I think the message is clear that this a community that supports love," said Connor Cook, a counter-protester.

Law enforcement kept the two uneven sides separated.

For people like Cook, it wasn’t about receiving the church's message but rather showing them what an inclusive community looks like.

"We’ve come together today to show that, regardless of your political views, your religious views, or anything that defines who you are, we are a community and everyone deserves to feel like it's a community," Cook said.

After just 30 minutes, the members of the Westboro Baptist Church collected their signs and were escorted away by police.

The counter-protesters stayed a while longer to show that love is love.

Rocklin Academy Schools issued a statement later Wednesday:

"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."