Education

Campus Cops Told To Remain ‘Neutral’ When Pro-Life Display Was Vandalized. Now There’s Blowback

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Rob Shimshock Education Reporter
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A legal nonprofit admonished a university Monday for letting its campus officers say they were remaining “neutral” by turning a blind eye to vandalism of a pro-life display.

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms told the University of Victoria to uphold the rule of law on its campus after its police did nothing to stop students tearing flags out of a pro-life display, according to a press release obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Youth Protecting Youth, a pro-life group, received permission from the University of Victoria to put up 10,000 miniature pink and blue flags in November representing the 100,000 annual Canadian abortions. Protesters informed the student group that if the group did not remove the flags, the protesters would do so themselves. The protesters started doing exactly that after Youth Protecting Youth called the campus police.

Two officers told the student group that they could not stop the vandalism because it could be perceived as police support for Youth Protecting Youth, and that intervening with the protesters could “escalate” the situation.

“Campus Security’s job is to uphold the rule of law on campus, not stand idly by while a mob of bullies vandalize an approved student display,” wrote James Kitchen, a staff lawyer for the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, in a letter to the school. “Campus Security is mandated by UVic policies to intervene when faced with student misconduct that violates UVic’s policies.”

Kitchen explained that the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that violence is not protected under freedom of expression.

“By refusing to take any action, Campus Security condoned the Disruptive Students’ mob censorship and vandalism,” the lawyer said. “It cannot be permitted to reoccur.”

Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedom asked the university to uphold rule of law at a pro-life flag display planned for Feb. 22 by Youth Protecting Youth.

“Our goal as a group is to raise awareness on the issue of abortion (especially in Canada) on our University campus,” said Bianca Rojo, spokeswoman for Youth Protecting Youth. “By putting on this display in February, we look to continue to further the discussion with our peers.”

TheDCNF reached out to the University of Victoria for comment, but received none in time for press.

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