High School Student, District Reach Partial Settlement Over Pro-Life Club

High School Student, District Reach Partial Settlement Over Pro-Life Club

In a partial settlement of a continuing lawsuit brought against the Noblesville, Indiana, School District, a freshman at Noblesville High School has been granted permission to start a chapter of Students for Life of America at her school.

The student, identified only by the initials E.D., began the process of starting the pro-life club last summer. According to her legal complaint, the principal initially granted permission for the group, and at a student organization fair, 34 students said they were interested in joining the club, which would be called Noblesville Students for Life.

But when E.D. submitted a proposed flyer listing the date of the first meeting, the dean of students would not approve it. He objected to a photo on the flyer that showed students outside the Supreme Court building holding signs that said “We are the pro-life generation” and “Defund Planned Parenthood.”

E.D. offered to replace or change the photo to remove objectionable content, but the school’s principal nevertheless revoked the club’s status as a student organization.

The complaint notes that many other student clubs had flyers with pictures, including one with a mural depicting fists in the air—a symbol often associated with the Black Lives Matter movement and Marxism. Further, the complaint recounts a meeting in which the dean of students attempted to intimidate E.D., and it quotes social media posts in which school district employees denigrated E.D. and her proposed club. One post, from an instructional assistant at a local middle school, said: “There is no place for a club that endorses misogyny, bigotry, and conspiracy-driven politics in our public schools.”

E.D.’s suit alleges that the school district violated her 14th Amendment rights to association, freedom of speech, due process and equal protection under the law, in addition to several other violations.

Although the suit is continuing in United States District Court, the agreement reached this week allows E.D. to start her club. “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, which is representing E.D. “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.”

Photo: Evan Golub/ZUMA Wire/Alamy Live News

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