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Local Christian Group Preaches to Students

Andres Cruz-Wellmann | The Signal Student and demonstrator's argument escalates.
Andres Cruz-Wellmann | The Signal
Student and demonstrator’s argument escalates.

Every year, without hesitation, a local unnamed Christian group comes to preach to Georgia State students.

With signs saying that adulterers, drunkards, sodomites and homosexuals would go to hell, the group came to the Courtyard this Thursday and began to preach and condemn students.

The reaction of the students was mostly peaceful throughout the event.

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“I don’t feel offended,” Sean Bokelmann, a junior at Georgia State, said. “Im a proponent of the freedom of speech and obviously this is a display of that. I certainly don’t agree with their viewpoint, but I think it’s good that they come out there because it creates discussion about important things.”

While most students shared the same feelings toward the group, some yelled back at the speakers with disapproval and defiance.

One student was escorted away from the area when his argument became aggressive and when he violated the personal space of a speakers.

Another student was arrested for battery after he hit a child that accompanied the christian group. He was processed and transported to Fulton County Jail.

The Faculty and Georgia State Police felt that the safety of the demonstrators and the students was a priority.

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“Mostly for us, it’s about maintaining the peace,” Officer Jacobs said. “We expect the demonstrators to act professional and respect the students’ space just as we expect the same from the students. It’s all about peaceful demonstration.”

Dr. Rebecca Stout, vice president of Student Affairs and dean of students, said that while the university takes no position on the subject, by law, they must allow the group on the public areas of the campus, like the courtyard, and let them speak.