Bradlee Dean, the controversial preacher whose group shocked students at an Iowa high school last week, says his message has been misrepresented.
“The press fabricated what happened as usual,” Dean told TPM in an email Tuesday.
Local press reported that Dean’s band, Junkyard Prophet, performed and then split the attendees into several groups: boys, girls and teachers. The group showed students pictures of mutilated fetuses to teach about infanticide and reportedly told girls to take a submissive role in their marriages. Those at the school who walked out on the program were mocked and shouted down, the WCF Courier reported.
On Monday night, Dean and his ministry’s organizer, Jake MacAulay, held a community discussion in Iowa to address the fiery response to their assembly. “The accusations that have been flung, they’re offensive,” Dean told the 75 attendees. Dean said the assembly wasn’t controversial at the time. “When I left, there was nothing wrong with anything,” he told KWWL. “I get home and it’s an anti-gay ministry. I’m tired of that. It wasn’t brought up at all.”
A number of students told local media that they were bothered by the assembly. Some were crying. The school district is offering counseling to students, Dunkerton Community Schools Superintendent Jim Stanton told TPM on Monday. The school is forming a committee of students, teachers, staff and parents to screen groups before they perform there in the future. “We’ve learned from this,” Stanton said. “It will never happen again.”
The school board will host a community meeting Tuesday evening to discuss the school assemblies policy going forward, KWWL reports. The school is also asking for its money back from the group, about $1,500. Dean said in his email that the group stuck to the contract agreed upon and there has been no recent interaction with the school.
Stanton was not available for comment Tuesday.
David Taintor is TPM’s News Editor. He contributes to TPM’s Livewire coverage, among other areas. David is from Chanhassen, Minnesota, where, yes, it gets very cold. Reach him at taintor [at] talkingpointsmemo.com