Broward County Public Schools will not allow conservative campus activist Charlie Kirk to speak on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s campus about gun rights.
Broward School District spokeswoman Cathleen Brennan said Thursday that she has “met with the student organizers and advised them that non-school sponsored, student-initiated guest speaker assemblies/meetings are not permitted to take place on campus,” the Associated Press reports.
Kirk, founder and executive director of the conservative student group Turning Point USA, was invited to speak by Parkland student Kyle Kashuv, who supports the Second Amendment. A groundswell of support on Twitter pushed Kirk to accept the invitation. Kirk recently interviewed President Trump for an event for millennials at the White House.
“I excitedly accept and look forward to discussing our right to bear arms in front of a captive student audience,” Kirk wrote on Twitter, accepting the invitation.
Kirk tells the Daily Caller in a statement that he will still be speaking at another location and that the school cannot silence the “debate over school safety.” Kirk’s full quote:
“The purpose of our national dialogue must be focused on achieving one goal: School safety,” Kirk said. “There are no two sides on this issue. Students have a right to feel safe in their classrooms and on their campuses. I travel the country, speaking to thousands of students. They want this debate and they want solutions.”
“17 year-old Parkland student, Kyle Kashuv, has been instrumental in bringing the debate over school safety to the American people. I was honored to accept Kyle’s invitation to speak at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and am disappointed that school administrators have decided to shut down this important exchange of ideas,” he continued. “However, this will not deter Kyle or myself. I will be speaking off campus at a yet to be determined location. Ideas are important. Free speech is important. School safety is important. We will not be silenced.”
Kirk also tweeted Friday morning that if he had been advocating for gun control “things would be quite different.”
I was invited by several students to speak at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL
It seems there has been a decision to not allow me on campus. However, I bet if I was advocating for gun confiscation things would be quite different https://t.co/jmBChoGLOQ
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) April 13, 2018
Kashuv said that he will not hold the event at an off-campus location in a recent interview. He also tweeted that the school decision was hypocritical because gun control speakers have been allowed on campus.
— Kyle Kashuv (@KyleKashuv) April 13, 2018
The school contends that the decision is consistent with new rules set out for student organizers and were put in place for “security protocol.”