Group behind controversial Dunkerton assembly return to explain - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Group behind controversial Dunkerton assembly return to explain


Members of a group that led a controversial assembly at Dunkerton High School last week came back to the area Monday night to share their side of the story.

Students and parents accused members of You Can Run But You Can't Hide of preaching anti-abortion, anti-gay and abstinence messages.

The group said they've been misrepresented by media reports and by those who complained about their presentation.

The group said they don't hate anyone. They said what they showed to Dunkerton School students Thursday exemplified living the wrong lifestyles.

Many in attendance at Faith Assembly of God in Elk Run Heights agreed with what You Can Run had to say, but a vocal group of protesters maintain they went overboard and their actions have no place in a school setting.

Even before the meeting started, about a dozen people stood outside the church to protest the group.

Brooke Leavell, junior at Dunkerton High School, helped organize the group.

"They came to us, nobody got the option to say anything. They monopolized the entire event and put us down," Leavell said.

Inside the church, Dean took the stage before more than 75 people to explain the message they brought to Dunkerton students.

"They're offensive. The accusations that have been flung, they're offensive," Bradlee Dean, "You Can Run But You Cannot Hide" founder, said.

At times, the meeting became heated but he blames the media for twisting the story and inflaming those who disagreed with the message.

"When I left, there was nothing wrong with anything. I get home and it's an anti-gay ministry. I'm tired of that. It wasn't brought up at all," Dean said.

Dean told the group his Christian ministry believes being gay is a sin, abortion should be stopped and teens should practice abstinence.

Fellow group member Jake McAuley showed the controversial parts of the presentation. He said what they say are inappropriate song lyrics come from Elton John, Eminem and Metallica accompanied by pictures of dead babies.

"He was exemplifying what the bands were teaching the kids. In this particular group, they were teaching the kids infanticide. He said 'How many know [what infanticide is]?' So he showed them a picture of infanticide and when kids took a look, they said 'OK, this is abortion,'" Dean said.

"Thanks for the help," Tad Rindels said.

Parents like Rindels said they appreciate the group's message and how they present it.

Meantime, Dean says he'd come back, if asked.

"At Dunkerton, we were here twice. They already knew who we were. They trusted us. A lot of schools we've done 2 to 3 to 4 times so this shouldn't be no surprise to anybody as to what took place and if we were trying to hide something I wouldn't have come back in a million years," said Dean.

Dean says he feels his group is being attacked for what he says is their inspirational message to do right.

Meantime, some parents at Monday night's meeting wondered why there wasn't a permission form sent home with students in regard to the school assembly.

School Superintendent Jim Stanton told us last week he was surprised by the group's presentation. He says he's lost sleep over it since then.

The website for "You Can Run but You Cannot Hide" can be found here.

The school board will hold a community meeting at the Dunkerton School auditorium Tuesday at 6 p.m. about what the district's school assemblies policy will be going forward.

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