Extracurricular student clubs have become a very popular vehicle for personal expression and ambition for middle and high school students across the country. Most recently, gay/lesbian clubs have found new acceptance and support from many public schools, including one particular Las Vegas high school. This school already had an anime club and a Bible club, among others. Last school year, however, when approached by a group of students who wished to form a pro-life club, the administration’s answer was a clear NO.
One of the club’s would-be founders, an 11th grade young woman, said, “My fellow pro-life students and I simply want to make our voices heard and to educate other students on a topic that’s important to us—choosing life.”
The administrators for the school stated the following, among other reasons, for denying the club’s approval:
A religious liberty organization filed a lawsuit on behalf of the 11th grader, alleging “content-based discrimination” in violation of the federal Equal Access Act, 20 U.S.C. §§ 4071 et seq. (“EAA”) and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
The lawsuit alleges: “Under the EAA, it is ‘unlawful for any public secondary school which receives Federal financial assistance…to deny equal access or a fair opportunity to, or discriminate against, any students who wish to conduct a meeting…on the basis of the religious, political, philosophical, or other content of the speech at such meetings.’”
These students are being muzzled and discriminated against purely on the basis of the content they wish to discuss: their pro-life position. The very sanctity of life is at stake, and these students should be applauded for their attempts to preserve and protect life by forming of this club, as well as their willingness to challenge the school’s illegal actions.
As this next school year begins, we know these issues will once again arise and will likely become more frequent. Let us know if you or your child encounters such opposition at your public school. The National Center for Life and Liberty is here to stand with you, and we pray that you will stand for your faith with boldness, as Acts 4:29 declares: “And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word.”
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