Parents in Littleton, Colo., the site of one of the worst school shootings in U.S. history, are outraged about the placement and image of a statue honoring a local fallen Navy SEAL.
Parents say that a statue made in honor of Navy SEAL Danny Dietz, which depicts the soldier with an automatic rifle in his hands, praises violence in a location near three schools and two playgrounds, according to the Denver Post.
"I don't think young children should be exposed to that in that way — unsupervised by their parents or any adults," said Emily Cassidy, one of the mothers, reported the Post.
Littleton city officials say the protests are too late, as the statue has already been cast.
Dietz, 25, and three other Navy SEALS were killed in Afghanistan in June 2005 after they were ambushed by Al Qaeda guerrillas. Dietz was proclaimed a hero after he reportedly fought off attackers while severely wounded so a fellow team member could escape.
Dietz’s family is surprised at the controversy.
"It broke our hearts. My son was fighting for her freedom to do exactly what she is doing," said his father, Dan Dietz, referring to those who are protesting the statue. "She put my son in the same category as Columbine. How does she have the audacity to do that?"
Two Columbine High School seniors went on a bloody shooting rampage on April 20, 1999, slaughtering 12 students and a teacher before killing themselves.