LifeSiteNews.com reports that a pro-life high school student who wants to start a Students for Life club at her school is being censored. Typically, clubs are covered under free speech and as long as they are initiated by a student, most any club is ok. But school administrators say a pro-life club is “too controversial.” Because supporting unborn children is controversial? Or maybe it’s standing against abortion? Or maybe it’s an abstinence message? Or maybe even suggesting that teens take responsibility for their actions? Say it isn’t so!
According to EAGNews.org here are the specific reasons the school administration gave for denying this club on campus:
* The name was not inclusive enough–it would make people on campus with the opposite view feel left out and look bad for the school in the media.
The name is descriptive of what the club is about. It’s meant to attract like-minded students. You know, like the the sewing club (which may leave out people who don’t know how to sew), or the book club (which may feel exclusive to kids who don’t like to read), or the Christian club, the free thinkers club, and the LGBT club.
And making the school look bad in the media? Too late!
* Regardless of the name, simply having a club that picks a side on the topic of abortion was not inclusive enough.
School officials don’t have the latitude to pick winners and losers on political free speech on campus. Would they also deny a feminist club, or girl power, or Planned Parenthood (because you know they’re opening clinics on high school campuses now!)
* Permitting a pro-life club would cause negative media coverage of the school for “supporting” the PRO-LIFE movement.
Allowing students to form clubs does not indicate school endorsement. NEXT!
* There are “far more qualified” people who know more about abortion than a sophomore in high school.
High school clubs usually need a teacher or parent sponsor to oversee the gathering and generally invite in guest speakers. The national Students for Life organization offers support and assistance to local chapters. I wonder if the administration looked into the group before denying this club?
* The topic of abortion is controversial.
No kidding. So is squelching free speech. Being controversial doesn’t wipe out students’ 1st Amendment rights, even on school campus.
* Public schools are “different” when it comes to First Amendment rights to speak and assemble.
WRONG! While it is true that schools have a lot of latitude in a multitude of areas, it’s not true that 1st Amendment rights are “different.” This administrator is finding that out hard and fast.
I’m sure we’ll see an about-face on this campus. It’s just a matter of time. Kudos to the young person fighting this fight. People like her prove that there is hope for our future generations!
Photo credit Students for Life