Parents reaching dead ends in search for removal of anti-abortion protesters

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - After concerns were raised earlier this school year about protesters outside Huntsville's Academy for Academics and Arts, parents say they are still seeking relief.

Sarah Brown asked the city council Thursday, along with a group of other parents, for help.  She said they want protesters off school grounds during school pickup and dismissal times, and came asking for an ordinance to allow that.

Council members said the council, city legal team and Huntsville Police have looked into the issue, but there's nothing they can do. President Will Culver said they were open to suggestions, but are limited in their capacity to grant that.

Brown said she's not against the First Amendment right to protest, but she and other parents are concerned about safety during those times. Plus, she said it's hard for her children when they see the signs.

"It's a really disturbing thing to have to have a conversation with a kindergartener or a first grader about what abortion is and why there's someone holding a sign that says 'babies are murdered here,' in front of their school," she explained. "We've kind of reached a boiling point."

She's hoping the roadblocks to their quest for relief end. And she's hoping a team of city leaders can help mediate between both sides.

We spoke to Rev. James Henderson, who is an anti-abortion activist, and he said the protest signs aren't that offensive. He said they don't contain graphic images or offensive language. Either way, he believes the solution is not to remove the protesters, but the clinic they oppose. He told us they would use every peaceable means they could to remove abortion clinics and everything they have been doing so far is legal.

It seems there's a stalemate between these two groups. Still, Brown remains hopeful it can be broken.

"I personally have not given up hope there yet," she said.

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