Another Victory: High School Caves & Restores Free Speech to Pro-Life Students
Yesterday, Branford High School in Branford, CT caved into demands made by Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of Branford High School Students for Life. More than one year after starting the pro-life group at her public, high school, Sam Bailey-Loomis, founder and president of Branford Students for Life, has been promised equal treatment.
This February, school administrators told Branford Students for Life that they were not allowed to have an educational table during lunch time and not allowed to pass out recruitment and educational material or host events during the school day. Two weeks ago, Alliance Defending Freedom sent a letter on behalf of Branford Students for Life to Branford Public Schools demanding that the high school administrators reverse these restrictions, respect the First Amendment rights of all students, and allow Students for Life the same opportunities on campus as other student organizations.
“After a grassroots campaign to call attention to the demand letter and under threat of legal action, we are not surprised that Branford Public Schools did the right thing,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America. “Once again, the First Amendment rights of pro-life students have been restored and another school administration has learned that freedom of speech has applied equally, to all students, no matter what their personal beliefs may be. Simply speaking out and educating students on a controversial issue is not enough ground for censorship. In fact, it is issues like abortion that need to be discussed the most on high school campuses. It’s always there in the background as the majority of abortions are committed on women under age 25.”
“Public schools should encourage, not shut down, the free exchange of ideas,” said Legal Counsel Matt Sharp of Alliance Defending Freedom, who represented the group. “The First Amendment protects freedom of speech for all students, regardless of their religious or political beliefs. We commend Branford Public Schools for reversing the restrictions that prevented the students from distributing pro-life literature and clipboarding to their friends and classmates during free time.”
“On behalf of Branford High School Students for Life and on behalf of all abortion abolitionists across the nation, I am honored to say that another victory for the pre-born has been won,” said Sam Bailey-Loomis, founder and president of Branford Students for Life. “While difficult, the stand we have taken will ultimately have a positive impact on our community and on the lives of so many. I want to encourage pro-life activists of all ages to take a stand for life, even if it seems impossible. Nothing is impossible when you stand for truth and justice”
To request interviews with Students for Life of America or Sam about this situation, please contact Kristan Hawkins at firstname.lastname@example.org.