Activism

Indiana high school student files lawsuit after school disallows pro-life club

pro-lifers, pro-life, abortion, Planned Parenthood, Democrats, Exeter Students for Life

A freshman student at Noblesville High School in Indiana is suing her high school and the school district after administrators revoked their approval of a pro-life club, Noblesville Students for Life, on campus.

In the suit, the student, known only by the initials E.D., says that the Noblesville High School principal, Craig McCaffrey, initially gave approval for the new club in August. However, when Assistant Principal Janae Mobley asked to review one of the club’s fliers a few weeks later, the administration changed its tune.

According to the Indy Star, Mobley told the group that the flier, which contained a photo of people holding signs that read, “Defund Planned Parenthood” and “I am the pro-life generation,” was not allowed, saying instead that it could only list information about the group’s name and where they were meeting. “We do not need the pictures of the signage,” she wrote, according to a copy of email exchanges added in the lawsuit.

READ: Pro-life students in Fargo win their battle for recognized pro-life clubs

The lawsuit further alleges that E.D. was then instructed to meet with Dean Jeremy Luna about the contents of the flyer. E.D. did so, along with her mother. Following that meeting, the club’s approval on campus was revoked.

In defending their actions, school officials pointed to the mother’s presence at the meeting, saying it was a sign that perhaps the mother was leading the group, not the student — a violation of school rules. “At this point, I am not confident that this club is a student-driven club and therefore am removing the club’s approval to meet in school,” McCaffrey wrote in an email. He also blamed the club’s dismissal on the posters, saying that they could not contain content that is “political or that could disrupt the school environment.”

Students for Life of America explained the situation further, stating that after the club was banned, school teachers went a step further, attacking E.D. online with defamatory statements.

“I wanted to start this club to inspire like-minded students to advocate for our most vulnerable and point students to resources designed to uplift them in their time of need. I knew some people would disagree with me, but I never expected to be attacked online—especially by my teachers,” E.D. said, according to SFLA.

In the suit, the student is being represented by Charitable Allies. “The school district cannot prohibit a student group simply because school administration does not agree with its policy position on important social issues,” said Zac Kester, CEO & Managing Attorney of Charitable Allies. “Public schools should be eager to support an inclusive environment that showcases a variety of viewpoints. Students shouldn’t have to be afraid of teachers and administrators bullying them for their beliefs.”

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