Missouri State University Students Vandalize Campus Pro-Life Cross Display

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 10, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Missouri State University Students Vandalize Campus Pro-Life Cross Display

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
October 10
, 2008

Springfield, MO (LifeNews.com) — Student vandals at Missouri State University wrecked a pro-life cross memorial on the school’s Blair-Shannon Lawn on Wednesday, October 1. Some students cheered from a nearby sidewalk as others deliberately stepped on the crosses and one student rode his bike through the display.

Bears for Life (BFL), a student group that received assistance from the Leadership Institute in Arlington, Virginia, hosted the Graveyard of Innocents, a memorial of nearly 4,000 popsicle-stick crosses to represent the number of unborn babies killed by abortion each day.

One BFL volunteer who witnessed the incident captured some of the vandalism on video.

Phillip Gleeson, president of Bears for Life commented, “I was shocked by the immaturity and lack of respect displayed by some members of the pro-choice community at Missouri State University.”

When a BFL student leader confronted the vandals and asked them why they felt free to destroy a university-approved display, one replied, “It’s campus property; we can walk where we want.” The delinquents continued to trample the crosses as they left.

Another student rode through the makeshift cemetery on his bike to further damage the memorial. He refused to comment on camera about his actions.

Jenny Newcomer, an active member of Bears for Life, said, “It’s just appalling how disrespectful people can be.”

Missouri State University initially opposed the Graveyard of Innocents event. School administrators claimed the popsicle sticks to be used in the memorial could damage the sprinkler irrigation system on the North Mall.

It took group members seven hours to dig holes in the parched ground of the lawn approved by the administration. The Leadership Institute provided the pro-life group with tools and popsicle sticks for their pro-life event.

Bears for Life is an independent, student group at Missouri State University which strives to educate students about the pro-life movement and the sanctity of life from birth to natural death. Several of the group’s members received activism, grassroots, and campaign training from LI.

Daniel Diaz, LI field representative for Missouri and Kansas, said, “The Leadership Institute provided Bears for Life with a box of materials for recruiting. Later this semester, LI will assist the group to bring a speaker to their campus through a donor-supported grant.”

Related web sites:
See footage of the destruction –

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