AUSTIN (KXAN) — As students were released from McCallum High School Tuesday afternoon, the district confirms roughly eight people stood outside with anti-LGBTQ and anti-abortion signs.

“The protesters were on the sidewalk but were blocking the buses, so they were asked to move,” a spokesperson for AISD said. “Austin ISD Police officers were on-site to ensure everyone’s safety, and the protesters left after about an hour.”

KXAN does not share photos or videos of possible hate speech as standard practice, which is why we have not included photos in this story and blurred signs in the video above.

“Instead we need to be standing up and saying that everyone belongs, and this is a community for everyone,” said Council Member Alison Alter of District 10.

In July, Alter officially helped launch an anti-hate campaign called “We All Belong.” The program came about after a series of hate speech incidents and a hate crime in which Alter’s synagogue — Congregation Beth Israel — was lit on fire in 2021.

We All Belong website
We All Belong website (Courtesy City of Austin)

Alter said the goal is twofold: One, to make reporting a hate crime easier and two, to connect people with resources and support.

“{The We All Belong website} tells you when to call 911, when to use IReport,” Alter said. “Not every hate crime or hate incident is the same, but people do need to report.”

You can also partner with the city to host a pop-up event through the program. The city will provide materials and messaging for the event. You can apply to host an event here. Some funding is available.

“Take action in the form of having those hard community conversations or creating a space where people can come together and celebrate,” Alter said. She continued: “Fight hate with love, fight hate with light.”

The district said school counselors will be on standby for students at McCallum upset about the Tuesday incident.