Education

Va. High School Denies Creation Of Right-To-Life Club

Ben Smith Contributor

A high school in Virginia has denied approval of a right-to-life group after stalling for several weeks on the group’s application.

The head of the group, senior Madison Sutherland, has grown frustrated with the principal’s slow response, according to a news release by the Thomas More Society, a public interest law firm that has taken the case. Sutherland claims that after filling in the correct forms and fulfilling all the requirements, Larry Marks, the principal of Sutherland’s school has been stalling.

“Public schools have a duty to treat all student groups equally,” said Jocelyn Floyd, Associate Counsel of the Thomas More Society, in the release. “By denying Maddie’s pro-life group on the grounds that it is not tied to the school’s curriculum, while allowing other non-curricular groups such as an equestrian club and lacrosse club, Courtland High School is violating their students’ First Amendment rights.”

Floyd also noted that a student’s free speech is not limited once they enter the school.

Fed up with the stalling and the “fixes” that Sutherland has been waiting to receive, the Thomas More Society sent a letter to Marks demanding that he respond to the complaint by a Nov. 21 deadline or they will be taken to court.

Kristen Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America expressed concern over what she sees as a deliberate attack on the pro-life movement. “It is unfortunate that many pro-life high school students have faced resistance from hostile school administrators,” Hawkins said.

She expressed hope that students like Sutherland would keep pushing the pro-life message.

As for Sutherland, she will continue pushing her campus group to be recognized. “Abortion is the greatest violation of human rights in our time and I believe the pro-life message deserves a voice at my school,” she declared.