CORONADO (CBS 8) - The Westboro Baptist Church may be backing off plans to protest at memorials for the Arizona shooting victims, but the controversial group is now coming to Coronado. The issue: a play based on a hate crime against a gay student.
We know what to expect from protesters supporting the Westboro Baptist Church. We've seen it many times before. When its members stand outside Coronado High School Saturday, you can be they will be met with opposition.
"This is really getting around, people are inviting other people," student Gloria Bird said.
Valairia Cervantes and Gloria Bird both belong to the Gay-Straight Alliance at Coronado High. When they first found out about the controversial church group from Kansas and its scheduled protest of their school's production of "The Laramie Project", they decided to step up.
"This is the kind of town where you shouldn't be afraid of who you are," Bird said.
They started a Facebook page -- protesters of the protesters.
"People from far and wide are responding," Cervantes said.
They plan on demonstrating face-to-face against the Westboro members.
"They want one of two things from us -- a reaction, and for us to get mad and in faces. Or for us to do nothing and make them feel like they won, and were not going to give them either," Bird said.
Coronado police is well aware of both parties involved.
"Sometimes in these part situations tempers flare and its our job to maintain the peace and ensure that everyone is able to conduct their biz safely," Coronado Police Chief Louis J. Scanlon said.
Cervantes and Bird both promise to not let their school and community down.
"I am so proud of our school and community for getting involved," Bird said.
"It became bigger than what I ever imagined," Cervantes said.
News 8 tried to contact the Coronado Unified School District. Members got back to us with a statement saying they encourage all attending "The Laramie Project" to join their commitment to tolerance by supporting the production.