More than 200 people gathered Tuesday afternoon at the intersection of Baltimore Annapolis Boulevard and Kuethe Road to send one message: unity.
The crowds gathered near shouting "thanks for bringing us together" as they counterprotested three Westboro Baptist Church members, a group best known for its anti-gay protests.
Westboro members said their purpose was to warn the students and school community to stop "rebelling against God."
"We're here because of the [Jr]. God sent the pervert. This is a nation of perverts," Westboro member Shirley Phelps-Roper said.
Sears, 30, of the 400 block of Luther Road in Glen Burnie, faces 13 sex-related charges, including three counts of sex abuse of a minor. His trial is scheduled for April 17 in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court.
"And the board member was on the news saying, Why?" Phelps-Roper said. "You've taught these children, these young ladies, to be proud whores."
But counterprotesters chanted about love, respect and honor—as well as telling the Westboro members they were not welcome in Glen Burnie.