Tuesday, October 23, 2007

ADF attorneys reach settlement with N.Y. school district affirming student’s constitutional right to express pro-life view

Posted at the Alliance Defense Fund - Defending Our First Liberty.

ADAMS, N.Y. — Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund have reached a settlement with South Jefferson Central School District officials who had censored a New York high school senior’s pro-life message during the Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity. The Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity, sponsored by Stand True Ministries (www.standtrue.com), is a student-led event giving students an opportunity to educate their classmates about the dangers of abortion.

“We’re glad that school officials will no longer treat pro-life expression as second-class speech,” said ADF Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. “Students do not forsake their constitutional rights once they pass through the schoolhouse door. School officials have done the right thing by reaching this settlement and establishing a new policy which affirms the free speech rights of its students.”

On Oct. 24, Scott Fish and other students attempted to communicate a pro-life viewpoint to their classmates through the use of message-bearing T-shirts, armbands, leaflets, and symbolic expression. The school principal censored Fish and the other students because their message might make students feel “uncomfortable” and allegedly violated the so-called “separation of church and state.”

After ADF attorneys filed a federal lawsuit on Fish’s behalf, the school district promptly agreed to permit student speech through pro-life clothing and leafleting outside of class.

Freedom of speech applies to all. Its amazing how apparent the double standard is when it comes to who might be offended and whose feelings might be hurt.

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