On Monday, October 16, pro-life students at Baldwin Wallace University in Ohio had their chalkings destroyed. This is another instance of attacks on free speech on college campuses. Even worse, students openly celebrated the destroyed chalkings on Facebook and Twitter:
The school says they have no policy on the erasing of chalking. Brian Istenes, president of Baldwin Wallace Right-To-Life on campus said, “Someone else posted a link to donate to PP on Facebook, and people loved that, and it got over $200 in donations! Other students were also calling her an MVP. An MVP for what? Violating my free speech, yeah cause that’s MVP worthy! This event proves that we still have a lot of work to do when it comes to education! Also after the event, the student body Presidents, sent out an email with the freedom of expression policy and a reminder about it! Do I regret sidewalk chalking, no! Do I wish the outcome was different, yes absolutely. I am not mad people disagreed with what I wrote, I am mad they violated my free speech rights. I don’t care if all 4,000 students on campus hate me, even if I changed the mind of one person, that’s all that matters, and it was worth it!”
This is sadly not the first time this semester that SFLA members have had their chalkings destroyed. In mid-September, pro-life students chalked at George Mason University, a public university, outside of a NARAL conference. Video below shows conference attendees destroying the chalking.
“Censorship is not free speech and no one has a First Amendment right to prevent others from speaking,” said Casey Mattox, director of the ADF Center for Academic Freedom in response to the George Mason situation. “George Mason University should be protecting the free speech rights of its students and encouraging robust debate, not siding with those who choose to stifle student speech that fully complied with the university’s written policies.”
There are countless more stories. At Northern Kentucky University, vandals erased or rewrote over pro-life messages to either cover them up or turn them into pro-abortion messages.
Just on Monday, people stole 175 crosses from a pro-life and anti-violence display at St. Louis University, a Catholic university.
As Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America wrote in a recent op-ed in Fox News
, “Over the last few weeks, the free speech rights of students on college campuses have been violated as peaceful chalk messages from students have been destroyed, flyers pulled down and permits for new pro-life groups and speakers slow walked through the approval process to prevent voices from being heard. If you haven’t heard about the college blockade taking place even this week, perhaps it is because the students whose voices are being forcibly silenced favor life over abortion. And while they may not get the attention that millionaire athletes can garner, their points of view are no less valid.”
Students on every campus, in every state, of all political beliefs, should be free to express their opinions without violent attacks on their free speech rights.