WASHINGTON, D.C. (24 April 2008) – In response to high school administrators in Whitehouse, Ohio harassing students for wearing pro-life T-shirts, American Life League’s staff attorney, Andrew Flusche, released the following statement:
We commend these courageous students for standing up to bullying by their school administrators for simply voicing their pro-life beliefs. When students become excited about life, schools should support that. Instead, Kristen Norman, Jamie Pellek and eight of their friends were threatened with suspension if they did not turn their shirts inside out.
The United States Supreme Court consistently protects the First Amendment rights of students, even inside the classroom. To force students to take off pro-life shirts, the school must have evidence that the shirts actually disrupt discipline in the school. I have spoken with the students involved and administrators told them that a single student claimed he was uncomfortable with the pro-life T-shirts. That clearly does not meet the constitutional standard.
Kristen and her friends are pursuing their legal options in this matter. That could include a civil rights lawsuit against the Anthony Wayne Local School District. American Life League will continue monitoring the case, since the students purchased their 'Abortion is homicide' T-shirts from us. We have also referred the students to the Thomas More Law Center, a pro-life law firm that specializes in protecting civil liberties.
We are calling upon school officials at Anthony Wayne High School to reverse their erroneous decision and publicly apologize to the students involved in this incident. Pro-lifers have free speech rights too.
American Life League was cofounded in 1979 by Judie Brown. It is the largest grassroots Catholic pro-life organization in the United States and is committed to the protection of all innocent human beings from the moment of creation to death. For more information or press inquiries, please contact Michael Hichborn at 540.659.7900.
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