Parent: Abortion protesters’ signs causing safety concern in pickup line at Huntsville’s Academy for Academics and Arts

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -  A Huntsville mother is voicing her concerns after she says pro-life protesters have moved to a new spot to picket. While she agrees they have the right to do so, she's concerned their large signs are obstructing the view of parents picking up and dropping off their kids at school.

Gina Haynsworth, concerned mother

Gina Haynsworth, concerned mother

"We're here because my children are in danger, and everyone else's children that are here are in danger," said Gina Haynsworth.

Haynsworth is a mother of three. Two of her children attend the Academy for Academics and Arts on Sparkman Drive.  School used to be a fun experience, until she says protesters got a little too close for comfort.

"In the last week they have moved over to our side of the street, on our side, the school’s side," said Haynsworth.

protestor

A protester holds a sign on display to traffic leaving the Academy for Academics and Arts, which is just across from the Alabama Women's Center on Sparkman Drive. (Megan Brantley/WHNT News 19)

The protesters typically stand outside of the Alabama Women's Center for Reproductive Alternatives, which is just across from the school. Those holding signs wouldn't go on camera Thursday, but did tell WHNT News 19 the sidewalk in front of the clinic had been reserved and said they had to move across the street.

Haynsworth says while they have the right to picket, the signs they are holding are causing issues. "These people are on either side, frightening my children, using signs that are offensive and causing a huge traffic hazard," said Haynsworth. "As I'm trying to exit and enter my school."

Haynsworth has addressed her concerns with the AAA school principal, who Haynsworth said was receptive, but felt it is a matter the school board must address.  Haynsworth said the school system referred her to the Huntsville City Council, and she plans to speak up at the next council meeting. She is asking for the city of Huntsville to step in and do something before someone gets hurt.

WHNT News 19 spoke with city officials, who said they were aware of the problem.  Police have met with the protesters in recent weeks to discuss concerns raised by parents and nearby residents.

The city has said their hands are tied in these circumstances, until it is apparent that traffic is directly impacted, or someone is in danger.

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